The Power of Pets

If you know me, or at least follow me on Instagram, you know I love animals. I grew up with dogs and cats my entire life, and I currently have three snuggly cats – Cricket, Blu and Ollie – and two fluffy dogs – Ellie and Mo. I have such a big place in my heart for all animals, but dogs and cats are my most common occurrences. Pets share a bond with you that is unlike anything else. I have learned so much about life from having pets and have loved them more than anything else in this world.

Starting in January of 2019, I posted a daily Instagram story of a dog-related picture or video with the text, “DailyPupperPost.” I rarely ever missed a day, and for two years straight I consistently posted a cute, heartwarming, funny, silly or emotional picture or video for my followers to enjoy. I started reposting these on my story from other dog accounts I followed or saw on my explore page at first for my own enjoyment. But I got such great feedback from my followers that I continued the trend and started to post other people’s dogs, my own dogs and any tweets that appeared to be written from the perspective of a dog.

I’ve had four dogs in my lifetime, two that unfortunately had cancer and passed way earlier than we had hoped. They taught me so many things; patience, love, understanding, how to be gentle, how to sneak food off the table, how to have fun, and how to say goodbye. They brought me some of the best memories of my life, and I am forever grateful for their lasting legacies. They also made me realize that time is precious and to never take your loved ones for granted.

The nine cats I’ve had throughout my childhood have given me the pleasure of being a cat person. Cats get a bad reputation because they are not as immediately friendly as dogs for the most part. But they have also brought me so much joy and good times during my childhood.

They can recognize when you are upset, and I remember several times where my cats comforted me when I was really going through it. They have an incredible healing ability and express their love through purring, snuggles, slow blinks, meowing and kneading. They are great companions and never fail to make me laugh.

This past winter break, I was lucky enough to volunteer my time at a local cat rescue on Long Island called Golden Paw Society. These amazing people rescue cats from high kill shelters and take care of them in this reimagined house,which is perfectly suited for cats, until they can find their forever homes. Every Tuesday, I got to spend two hours with anywhere from 30-50 cats. My siblings and I took the feeding shift, so we had the responsibilities of feeding the cats, getting them fresh water, changing their litter, cleaning the bowls and as much of the house as we could. It felt so rewarding to help out a great organization and give some love to cats that may have never experienced love before. Every time one of our feline friends got adopted, we were equally overjoyed for their second chance at life and sad that we would not get to spend Tuesday nights with them anymore.

And although animals will always be moving through my life, I will never underestimate the power they possess. There is truly nothing better than the unconditional love of a dog or cat.

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