I always knew that I wanted my children to grow up around pets. Mainly because growing up I did just that and some of my best childhood memories are from time spent with the pets I grew up with.
When I was a kid, over the years we’d had a few dogs and cats and I spent a lot of time with each of them. I remember one of the dogs we had giving birth to 15 puppies and I helped my mum to hand rear them all! What an experience that was! I remember bottle feeding them and as they got bigger I would play with them and run from one room to another while they all would come charging after me! (There is no way that I would ever allow 15 small dogs to run around our house – sorry, Kory! but I still wanted Kory to have at least one dog in his life.) One of the puppies from the litter was truly special to me, he was the smallest and the softest of them all and I wanted to keep him, I remember putting him in my stocking for Christmas and I asked my mum could we have him but she still said no. At the time I thought she was being mean but looking back as an adult, I understand that obviously we already had way too many pets in the house! We could have opened a zoo!
Sometimes growing up can be lonely, you might not always fit in, you might struggle to make friends or have a bad day. Not necessarily when you’re a toddler like Kory but already at 2 years old, when Kory comes home from nursery he is always so excited to come home to see our pets, especially Harley, our dog, who he’s very close with. These two have such a bond, they’re honestly the best of friends and it melts my heart to watch them together. He usually shouts ‘Kory missed Harley!’ As soon as he walks through the front door and gives him a great big hug. Knowing he’s got Harley to come home to must be comforting for him.
Sure, having pets can sometimes make your house messy and they can break things but watching Kory with our pets reminds me of my own fond memories from my childhood with my old pets. When I watch him snuggling up to Harley on the couch, or when I watch him playing a game with the cats, I can see he’s happy, he’s making memories and in that moment, I know exactly how he feels because I’ve felt that too and I hope one day he can look back at the memories he’s made with his pets with the same fondness that I have for the pets that I grew up with.
That for me is well worth a couple of chewed socks and a few plucked steps on the stairs along the way…