The relationship between pets and people is a long and detailed topic to discuss. Our animal companions are with us in a variety of ways. There are the animals that work such as herding livestock,  guarding a place, police work, sniffing contraband, guide dogs, therapy animals, the list goes on. Then there are our companion animals. They are family members; they bring a certain sense of joy, wonder and of course, love to a household. In today’s blog, I’d like to talk about the companion animal – the furry family member.

What makes a person decide they want to bring another being into the house? In some cases, it’s because a child in the home wants a dog or a pet because they like the idea of having one and all of the work will fall to one of the parents. In my own case, as a child, I was already an animal lover. It started with a long-haired guinea pig named Bubbles. A neighbor needed to find a home for her so they asked us. Later on, it was my mother (also an animal lover) who found out from her niece that there was a friend with a dog who had puppies that needed a home. Everyone in the family was on board – except for my father who was voted out. We brought this Schnauzer mix of home and named her Farah. After Farah Fawcett-Majors, it was the 70’s after all.

We all took turns cleaning up after Farah and the other chores including walking, brushing, and loving. We didn’t have any illusions about pet care although theories about pet care were different back then. Even our other relatives like my uncle and my grandmother became attached to this sweet being who loved unconditionally. My father eventually came around to liking her (although to this day I don’t think he’ll admit it).

Animals become part of our lives. We agree to take on the responsibility of caring for one who needs to live in this complicated world that we as a people have created. As an animal communicator, the main thing that our animals want for us is to have fun. They want us to enjoy being with them, to smile, to laugh and to live in the moment with gusto. They also need and want boundaries, because they like leadership. They need to be sure that we can guide them without completely losing our composure when a chaotic situation is happening (like moving houses, for example).

Some people will choose an animal because they like the idea of having one but don’t do their research on what it takes to own that breed or what it takes to make them happy. Bengal cats for example, require lots of mental stimulation as do Border Collies. When this happens, the owner is in for a rude awakening. Unless the owner can change, the animal winds up in a shelter.

The main thing to remember in the relationship between pets and people is that our animal companions are thinking, feeling, sentient beings who have their own opinion about the world around them. Animals are emotional beings who also want to be heard and understood. If as a pet owner you are willing to be quiet, still, and open to the possibility of what your animal companion has to say – you might be surprised at what they have to say. Just like people.

Holli Shan is an Animal Communication Counselor whose mission is to bridge the gap of understanding between animals and their people. Receive her free report on “Top 4 Tips for Animal Communication” by emailing with the subject “Tips for Animal Communication”.

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