People wonder why I have a zoo at my place. Two dogs, and when mum comes over, four. A cat, a tortoise and fish. For a while, Megan had a snake, but I gave up because its diet of baby lizards was just too hard to manage. I also had another tortoise but it had a wandering nature and I think it’s gone off on an adventure in our neighbourhood drain. Hasn’t returned yet.
So…here are my four reasons. I have many more but I’ll keep them for future posts:
1. Don’t be shy, just Ask
Patches, Dozy and Le Cat are 100% food motivated. Which means that they will stalk you, sidle up to you, look at you with their googly eyes (see photo above for proof). They have learned the art of asking in the most heart-melting ways possible. Nine times out of ten, we throw the training and disciplining out of the window and they get what they want. Us humans are usually too proud or paiseh to ask, and then we wonder why we don’t get what we want. Wise pets say – Throw out the dignity and pride, and learn the arts of sweet persuasion.
2. Patience Rules
Similar to #1, ze pets know that patience and fortitude will eventually result in something. They wait endless hours till mum and dad get home, they wait for their walkies, they wait at the table in the hope of a morsel or two. They can afford to teach my kids that instant gratification ain’t everything. They wait, and the joy on their faces when they get what they want – priceless.
3. Dogs show us what unconditional Love is
My dad had dogs all his life, and I asked him why many years ago. “Look at them. They don’t question, they don’t manipulate, you can be your true self and they will still love you.” How very true. I could look like and smell shite and they still love me. Dogs have amazing empathy and they always know when I’m miserable and feeling sorry for myself. They’ll come up to me without fail and sit at my feet. Even after a thrashing for eating kor kor’s brand new crocs, they come back, grinning and tongue lolling for more hugs. It’s true, given their amazing capacity for love, there is a reason why D-O-G is G-O-D in reverse.
4. Being proud of who you are
Anyone who’s had dogs and cats will know that they are supremely comfortable and confident in their skins. Just look at how they roll lazily onto their backs to let their junk hang out on hot days, in the open, for all the world to see. When visitors come by, that’s when my babes will hunker down in front of the guests to clean their bits most fastidiously. I’m not saying we should let our bits hang out too. But there’s a lot to be said for being self-confident and happy with what God has blessed us with.
My non-homo-sapien kids may leave the floors sandy and there’s fur flying everywhere, but the lessons they hold for me are bountiful. Be happy with yourself, learn love unconditionally, be patient and be brave.