I have always believed that animals come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love. But they also teach us to stretch and grow, to reach beyond our self-imposed limits, and to expand our consciousness. They take us to places we did not think were possible for us to go. I’ve been fortunate to have a number of these animals in my life.
There was my soul mate kitty, Feebee, who was instrumental in guiding me from an unsatisfactory corporate job to a fulfilling career in the veterinary profession. For the first time in my life, I discovered what loving what you do for a living feels like. There was my office cat Virginia, who made my dream of a fulfilling career complete. Whenever I had visualized my perfect job, that dream had always included a cat sleeping in a sunny spot on my desk. One of Virginia’s favorite sleeping places was the spot right next to my computer on my desk at the animal hospital, in front of a sunny window. There was Buckley, who changed my life in ways I never could have imagined by helping me discover my true passion. Her lessons were profound enough to inspire an entire book. And there is Amber, who I share my life with now. Her gentle, wise presence brings love and affection into my life every day, and she inspired this site, which is dedicated to sharing information about health, happiness and conscious living for pets and their people.
I’ve found that there are three main lessons that all animals teach us, if only we are willing to listen.
- The teach us to live in the moment. Our pets don’t spend time analyzing the past, and they don’t worry about the future. They are fully focused on whatever it is they are doing in the present moment, whether it’s enjoying a meal, playing with a favorite toy, or napping in the sunny spot on the rug.
- They help us to slow down. We get so caught up in the business of our daily lives, and we rarely take enough time to relax. Spending time with our pets is the best stress relief I know of. Research has shown that simply petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure.
- They help us connect with our spiritual core. As humans, we have an innate need to get in touch with something greater than ourselves. For some people, this connection comes through religion, for others, it comes from being in nature. For me, it has always come from being around animals.
Listen to the animals in your life – you might be surprised at the lessons they have to teach you.
What have you learned from your pets?
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.