I keep wondering why I love animals and having pets. I can’t ever remember not being around them. I guess it is something that gets passed on by the parents. When we became conscious of our world, our pets were already there. They were my parents’ first children. And so it was quite a natural progression to always want to be surrounded with animals. The only time I didn’t have pets was when I was in uni, but even then we took care of some stray cats.
I remember the first time I had to walk to school. I was in kindergarten 1 and since the school was only a couple of blocks away, I walked back and forth everyday. Juanito always went with me. He was a mutt, no doubt about that. He was a really old dog our parents had since forever. Juanito would take me to school then walk back to our house, braving the territories of the other dogs in the neighbourhood. In the Philippines, dogs don’t stay indoors. They roam the streets freely and are often seen fighting other dogs who dare step into their territory. But Juanito didn’t really care about that. His mission was to take me to school, then meet me halfway when I walk back home. I was devastated when he died, but that’s when I started to believe there is a God and a dog heaven. No superior being would not take care of the afterlife of other creatures in the planet. I’ve dumped several churches after heated discussions about the “lack” of animal heaven, just because it wasn’t covered by the Bible. Religion can be so stifling sometimes. But I digress.
I never really thought about it before but had my husband not been into animals, it would have been a major issue for me. I guess it’s the same with other people who really love having pets. It was a great bonus point when I found out my husband adores animals just as much as I do. In fact, I think he has this innate ability to comfort animals. I’ve seen him with so many stray animals that fear humans because of some cruel past done to them. But my husband always, without fail, end up wooing them after a short while — even the askals back in the Philippines. Seeing him with animals makes me fall in love with him all over again.
I like the idea of having our kid come out into the world surrounded with not just people, but also animals. We currently have two dogs, a tank full of fish and soon, a little birdy. Several studies have shown the marvelous benefits of having pets around kids.