pets have been the center of some controversy in my household lately. my dog went off the deep end... we moved to a new house, within a week i was in the hospital on bedrest then delivering, 3 weeks later i was out, for another 2 months we were back and forth everyday to the hospital, then the last month or so i was living there. so, needless to say, the mutt didn't adjust to the new place, and went into puppy mode. yes, i guess that's what you'd have to call coming home each day to something new being destroyed. she had a bit of a coping problem, thus daddy has had a bit of a coping problem as well. i can't count the threats that have been made to her life. he was in training for a few weeks over the course of the great pillow massacre... he asked me one night on the phone, in a tired and broken voice "do we even have any pillows left?"
in the mean time the cat went native on us. he's fixed and everything... but that didn't stop him from climbing out windows, (he's smart ok? he figured out how to push the screens out), opening doors t
o escape, and running out the door as we drop the groceries to catch him. at least i didn't declaw the poor thing- he'd probably never have made it this far. (although, he would spend the majority of the time right outside our back fence.. his tail actually still in our yard. i suppose he was counting on his killer pit bull buddy to surprise any unfriendlies that came after him.) anyway, he'd always be waiting by the back door within a few hours. funny thing, he tried to run out last night when i opened the door for the mutt. i grabbed his tail with one hand (over the arm of the couch) he pulled so hard i was actually afraid i was going to rip it off or something. (do tails break or what? i don't even know.)
all this to say... i LOVE animals. i would be "that lady" with all the pets if my dear husband would let me. (and we didn't move every year or so.) i grew up with inside pets, outside pets, birds, fish, dogs, cats etc. (though no rodents, my mom was against all things ratty. that included hamsters. i guess that's ok because they probably would have just died an accidental death anyway. i think that's how the majority of hamsters bite it.) since i've been on my own i've had relationships with 7 cats (3 i call my own), 1 dog (rescued and adopted out 3 others), a ferret, and a duck. i also had some close contact with pigmy goats- believe me, they're as cute as they sound... and i've heard they can be housebroken, though i've never seen it firsthand, but they are not effective alternatives to mowing the lawn. (sorry chris!) all that said.. i don't want my inbox filled with lolcats or pandas smiling, keep that freaky stuff to yourself.
sooooo, being that my husband decided to marry me, he sort of hitched himself to the crazy animal lady wagon... and we've decided that it's important for our kids to experience the responsibility and companionship of animals. where we draw the line of companionship is still an issue.. he thinks the queen size bed is too small for both of us AND the 65lb dog... i think we all fit nicely. why, i took a nap with wren, mady, and travelin' jack just the other day...
aside from the emotional issues, household pets provide health benefits as well. findings consistently show that if a child is exposed to pets early in life, they have less of a chance of asthma or allergies as adults.
- A recent study at the University of Virginia found that the earlier and the longer children are exposed to pets when they are young, ideally during their first two years, the lower their frequency of having pet allergies as they grow older.
- Another study also proved contrary to popular belief, revealing that children, aged seven and below, who grew up with dogs and cats in the house, have a significantly reduced risk of developing allergies to pets and other common substances. The children who have been living with pets all their life have had fewer positive skin tests to common indoor allergens (dust mite, cat and dog) and outdoor allergens (grass, ragweed).
- Children who were regularly given the opportunity to care for a puppy at their preschool, as well as those with pets at home were found more socially competent. They were more popular, felt better about themselves and were better able to understand other children's feelings.
- Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness.
and i'm aware of hand washing guidelines, and preventing parasites and so on. i promise not to let wren eat poop- if i can help it. now, keeping the pets out of her throw up- that's another story altogether...