I blame Dr. Seuss and Gerald Mcgrew for giving me the notion that a child could possibly run a zoo. However, those dreams were quickly dashed by my sensible parents who recognized we were, at max, a two dog household. That didn't stop me from loving almost every four legged animal I came upon – anything with more than four legs is immediately excluded from my love due to them being icky.
My friends joke around that I love dogs more than I love people, that I go to their houses more to kick it with their animals than to chill with them, and that if I could get away with it I would have a menagerie in my house. They are not wrong. Even cats, which I am allergic to, I end up petting if they wind up on my lap.
I think the whole cat person versus dog person thing is so silly. If you are a dog person, and you come across a cat person you should be thanking them because they leave more dogs in this world for you to adopt and love. Reptile people might be allergic to fur, and snake people really want a wearable pet.
All over social media, you see posts about people mistreating animals. Horrible people, the worst kind of people. And I just have to sit back and wonder how anyone could do something so heinous to an animal just trying to love them. Having a pet is a commitment, and if you can't honor that commitment at least show your pet the dignity of finding them a good home.
I won't go down the road of eating animals because I enjoy meat as much as the next girl. I think it's one thing to specifically raise animals to be used for nutritional value, same as it's one thing to go out and hunt for the purpose of food, using the skins for things, etc. That's not the argument I want to have here.
I want to stress the importance of caring about animals. Animals don't have bad days, they don't possess the ability to plan ahead to tear someone down, or hurt them. They are inherently good because they don't know how to be purposely bad – with the exception of my pup who chews on my pillows, he is then a bad dog.
I will always stop and pull over to help a tortoise across the road. Although one time it was an alligator snapping turtle which is why I always hop out with a lacrosse stick to scoot critters along. I will always try and grab a stray dog and check for tags, and I am always offering to watch/walk my friends animals. If you can't extend the smallest of kindnesses to an animal, what does that say about how you are as a person who has to interact with difficult people on the regular?
Animals are an important part of our lives. Our pets teach us what it is to be unconditionally loved, and how to love something that we can never communicate with. They teach us that small acts of kindness can change the life of a living thing, and they remind us that the circle of life isn't just a catchy song from The Lion King.
Be kind to animals. It's good for your soul; your heart may grow a few sizes, but you will not regret that you helped a creature who was in need. You can check off your good deed of the day, and you can feel good knowing that if the rest of your day goes to crap you can hold onto braking for that dumb sandhill crane and sparing its life.