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One morning, this is before we had our daughter, my husband decided to get two dogs, boxers, to be precise. Born and brought up in a family with no pets I knew this was going to be a big challenge. I had already made up my mind with all the rules, do’s and don’ts; no climbing on beds, I will not clean after them and what not’s. Time passed by and ultimately the responsibility came upon me to look after them, toilet train them, vet visits etc etc. Not being a dog lover at all, I did do everything, but grumpily. And I think our dogs too understood it as I was just their care taker, they would any day listen to my hubby dear. They were not my dogs but my husbands.
And then our daughter came! Obviously my whole focus and the centre of my world was my daughter. And again the rules and do’s and don’ts came. No dogs in her room, she will get infection, sanitise your hands after touching them and so on and so forth. Deep down I think they too understood and gave me the space. Obviously I couldn’t do so much for them now, but they never complained, but were just there for us.
And suddenly one day I saw something beautiful. Although my daughter was just three months, everytime she cried the dogs would come to the room running and she would stop crying. Suddenly they were there to comfort her and give her company. As she grew up they would tail her, not leaving her for a moment and protecting her. If she was sick, they would be by her side till she got ok. Suddenly I saw that any toy that we got her would give her happiness only for a few days or maybe a week, she was happiest in their company. She would walk them, feed them, play ball with them and even jump on them and they would just bear with her. Lo and Behold! She even did horse riding on one of them. Slowly and slowly I found that , as she was growing at a farm, she was empathetic towards all the animals. She was totally at peace with nature. All the time the dogs by her side, her best companions. She caught frogs, lapwing babies and now she has guinea pigs as pets. But still our dogs were her best friends.
A few days back one of the boxers passed away and my little daughter’s heart just broke. She cried and cried. One of her best friends had passed away. Then I saw her being extra nice to the other dog as she felt he would be lonely now. Just through my daughters eyes and through her actions, I realized how I had been deprived of having a best friend and a companion through my childhood. Slowly my daughter opened up my heart to animals and pets. My daughter taught me to grow up, spiritual growth, and even though I still am the caretaker of her pets but there are no rules and everything I do for them I do with an open heart and a big smile.
Last but not the least, all of you out there, who are debating, that should we or shouldn’t we keep a pet, just go and get one for your child; as this is the best gift that you can give to your child. It will be a lot of work but then the immense joy on your child's face and the companionship and camaraderie they will grow up with, will be worth all the effort and now after all these years I can say for sure; your family is not complete without a pet.