Happy National Pet Appreciation Week!
By: Dr. Amanda Landis-Hanna
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The first full week of June is Pet Appreciation Week. Dogs, cats, fish, horses, goats, birds…you name it. They give us so much to be grateful for, from unconditional love to compassion and understanding. They encourage us to be more active, and don’t judge us when we are not as active as we’d like. There are so many things to be grateful for with our pets, that I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know a few of the things I appreciate about pets in my life.
Sophie: This wonderful girl came into my life almost 8 months ago, but I love her as if I have known her my whole life. And she returns that love. I appreciate that she is kind, gentle, and patient, as my human kids play with her and wrestle with her. I appreciate that she lets me treat her with medication to make her many joint problems feel better; some dogs would not be so patient with a veterinarian as a mom. She snuggles with us when we need it, and she snuggles near us when we don’t feel our best. She is the most voracious eater I have ever known, and while I don’t always appreciate her stealing food, I DO appreciate that I have an easy way to motivate her.
Jessie: Jessie is my neighbor’s chocolate Labrador. He is hardheaded, goofy, and he sheds a lot. He doesn’t seem to recognize that I have been his neighbor for 6 years, and barks when I come home. But he is funny, and loving to my neighbors who adore him. He plays in my yard with Sophie and my kids, and is willing to come to me when he accidentally escapes from the fenced-in yard. He puts up with loud block parties, and lets me dog-sit him without incident. I am grateful to have him as a neighbor.
Quinn: Ok, I know I don’t normally cover non-dogs in this blog, but this big guy deserves a shout out. Quinn is a very large, very patient, and very kind Warmblood horse, belonging to one of my Voyce colleagues, Andrea Brownstein, LVT. He is a lovely horse, and is patient enough to be a surprise at a 5th birthday party. He will tolerate a herd of screaming toddlers, while being gentle and relaxed. He is even so polite as to help mow my yard (to Andrea’s dismay). I am grateful to horse smells, snorts, and nuzzles.
Jawa: Jawa deserves the spotlight for a number of reasons. One, she is a beautiful, fluffy Chow Chow mix that wants nothing more than some attention. Two, she supports sports, most especially rugby. Three, she was very patient with her family when she scratched her nose. Her mom, my friend Kristy, was very concerned, and Jawa was tolerant while Kristy treated her. Jawa then proceeded to remove the medication, but waited patiently while Kristy treated her again. It seems Jawa knew better than me, or her mom, in this case. Her nose is healing well, and she is back to full time snuggling. I appreciate that she provides unending love, and giggles, to all who know her.
As you celebrate Pet Appreciation Week, take a few moments to thank all those pets that impact your life, today or in the past. In my case, pets help make me healthier and lower my blood pressure. The provide joy as I watch them play with my kids. They provide knowledge to my family as we learn more about them every day. They teach me about patience, kindness, compassion, and mindfulness; I hope to achieve their capacity to live “in the moment.” In short, they give me a reason to work hard, every day, to make Voyce the best it can be. I want them all to live long and healthy lives, so we can return to them some of the joy they give us.