Though I confess not to be big on New Year’s resolutions—most of them are things we should probably do year round—I do find that the new year is a great time to reaffirm the things that I want to do in my life. For me, one of the biggest aspects of my life is my relationship with my pets.
I’ve always had many pets, so to me, a house filled with fur and feathered children (and some scaly) is nothing new. My parrot talks up a storm, having a vocabulary that far exceeds the average for his species, and I attribute that to the time I spend with him. He learns new words, and he because he thinks all cats are “Nermies”, he reminds us of those he loves. We still hear “Nermies, get down!”, even though Nermies (Nermal) has since passed the rainbow bridge.
However as we get busy there are times when we lose the connection with our pets. Oh they’re still a part of our lives. We still feed and water them. We interact with them, but something is missing. The quiet time of contemplation you might spend with your cat is replaced by dashing from place to place. It’s time to reconnect.
The good news is that our pets live in the now. Their unconditional love and easy forgiveness means that even if we falter in our quest to have wonderful relationships with them, we can always try again. And they will be there, waiting for us. It is, perhaps, the greatest gift our pets can provide us.
When we do take the time to reconnect with our pets, the benefits go beyond the unconditional love and acceptance our pets provide. We find peace. The same universal peace can be found with our pets regardless of whether they are equine, canine, feline, or another species. Lying on a bed with a cat or dog cuddled up beside you simply enjoying each other’s presence can be a very soothing thing. Reading or watching TV in this manner can create calm in our lives. As a horse owner, going out to the barn just to get a “horsie hug” soothes a wounded heart. Our pets give us peace.
Deepening this relationship, seeing our pets as more than “just a pet”, brings this peace and unconditional love closer to our hearts. We start to see the universe in our pet, how we are all connected. Our moods affect their moods. The way we treat ourselves affects them. Did the previous sentence surprise you?
The way we treat ourselves most definitely affects our pets. We work ourselves hard, too hard, pushing and striving to always get things done. We run on little sleep and poor food. We shouldn’t and we know better. It happens anyway. This changes our energy and our moods. We might find ourselves getting short-tempered with our pets. Perhaps we keep the dog in its kennel for longer periods than we normally would otherwise. However this manifests in your life, it is very true. And that is why it’s so important we deepen our connection with our pets.
Because when this happens, they can become our self-care monitor. If they aren’t receiving the exercise they need, especially in the case of dogs, then we probably aren’t either. A lack of cuddle time means we’re not taking the time out we need. Learning to hear the messages that your pet is trying to tell you is all a part of deepening that relationship.
In fact, the exchange of messages is what having a relationship with your pet is all about. We need to understand the obvious communications—hungry, tried, sick, bathroom. Beyond that, there are more intimate conversations that our pets have with us.
I love you.
You are wanted.
I trust you.
I am safe.
And these are the conversations that are well-worth working towards. For when we hear these words, we are hearing not just our pet, but messages from the universe. All creatures are connected; we all come from the same source. It is that source which speaks to us through our pets.
So this new year, let’s resolve to reconnect with our pets. From the mundane to the metaphysical, when we listen, we’ll find powerful messages waiting for us, along with a purr or bark, too.