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How pets instill gratitude in our lives

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I love my pets and very grateful for every day I get to spend with them. I wouldn't have it any other way! Admittedly, there are those times that I am cleaning up urine or feces, annoyed about items chewed up, or stressed about finding the "perfect" petsitter that I wonder what it would be like to not have pets. But those thoughts are fleeting, and for me, pets are essential!

Ask any pet lover what they are grateful for, and invariably they will respond "my pets." But what exactly does that mean? What constitutes gratitude for pets, and what can pets teach us about gratitude in other areas of our lives?

1. Grateful for Play

A walk in the park by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

Fresh air and exercise are good for everyone, it keeps pets at their optimum weight. But in the hustle and bustle my life, it's hard to take the time. Pets aren't bothered by all of the things looming on the To Do list. It's time for a walk! Let's chase string! It doesn't matter what day it is, or even what time it is, let's take a break and play.

I am grateful for all of my four-legged reminders to take a break, go for a walk, and appreciate the journey.

Related:

Photo: Let's go for a walk

 

2. Grateful for Laughs

The new kid in town by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

Not one day goes by that a pet doesn't make us laugh out loud. The cats are always sneaking up on each other - surprise! The dogs play tag and keep away with toys. The family joins in, chasing, sneaking, and laughing.

I am grateful for laughter. It really is good medicine.

Related:

Photo: Let's Play!

3. Grateful for a Comfy Bed

Cuddle bugs by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

My pets live the life of luxury. I am reminded of so many pets that don't have such a life - those that survive outdoor in pens, on chains, and in animal shelters. Homeless people, too.

I am grateful for housing and a comfy bed to sleep in. I have adopted pets from shelters. I help by donating funds and supplies to local  shelters (for pets and people). I am grateful for those that work in the shelters; bridging the gap between homeless and forever home.

Related:

Photo: The Cuddlebugs

4. Grateful for Living in the Moment

Herman and Sophie by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

My pets are always in the here and now. They don't stew or worry about what happened yesterday or what is on tap for tomorrow. Today is good. They are grateful for that.

I am reminded to appreciate each moment - with my pets, friends and family. Being present is the best present.

Related:

Photo: Hermie and Sophie

5. Grateful for Gratitude

Argos gets a biscuit by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

My pets might not be the most highly trained, but they know how to show their gratitude. Those play bows, tail wags, purrs, and licking of the chops post-treat always bring a smile to my face. They can't say "thank you," but they show it in a hundred ways.

That good feeling is contagious - I am reminded to show gratitude for even the smallest acts. It makes a difference. It multiplies. Pass it on.

Photo: Who wants a biscuit?

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