My entire life I have loved animals and had a deep passion for their welfare. My family has endless stories of things that I did as a child that set me apart in my devotion to the lives of all creatures right down to nursing a bumblebee back to health after it almost drowned in a bucket of water to reading to my childhood cat. I never understood being a “cat person” or “dog person” as I love them equally.
It is no surprise that the little girl that was so moved by the lives of other living things would grow up to be a woman that still is strongly committed to helping them. It probably is only surprising I did not become a veterinarian or that by now I don’t have a zoo of sorts. I say to all accounts ‘maybe someday.’ For now I do what I can in my personal life to help animals and hope that someday I have even more room in my life to do so.
I have been thinking about how much my unconditional love for other living beings has helped me, specifically with being a happier and more centered person.
Here are a few ways that animals can help you be happier based on my personal experience.
Adopt a Pet:
If you can do it, pet adoption is incredibly rewarding. My cat has been with me almost my entire adult life making her one of my oldest and dearest friends. She has made me laugh. She has cuddled up to me when I was sick and didn’t run away when I cried all over her. She has talked to me a lot. When I was depressed she had to put up with all that that brings, but we got through it. She is a very active and playful cat so I think she is extra happy that I am well now.
I rescued her, but she was the one that saved me. She has been my furry side kick for a long time and I’m seriously considering getting her a furry buddy to pass the days with when I am not home. I have put off getting another cat until I was happy again (the last few years were rough with several people I love having cancer and other assorted chaos). Now though I look at the situation and I think that maybe this cat would be good for the cat I already have.
Besides, there are so many pets in need of homes.
I also have found a lot of enjoyment by watching my two fish and snail. Watching them is a great way to meditate and relax.
Visit Places where You Can See Them:
If you aren’t able to have a pet of your own see if you can visit with a friend or family member that has a dog you can walk or a cat you can pet. You also can look into other ways to spend time with animals such as pet therapy events and petting zoos.
Another option is to volunteer some of your free time with animals. There are many kinds of volunteer opportunities at animal shelters, sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Personally, I am hoping to do more volunteering soon taking photos of animals and giving them love and attention. I already volunteer rehabilitating wildlife. It is hard work, but it is worth it. I make sure every week to take a moment at least to actively enjoy the current moment.
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Happy autumn! It is a beautiful day to release #wildlife! Today my six cedar waxwings flew to freedom. You could see the joy in how they took off and flipped around in the air. Good luck little guys! #cedarwaxwings #birds #nature Here is a quick picture of them moments before going home to the skies!
I had someone ask me once if I was sad to see the birds I was releasing go. Quite the opposite. Seeing birds that I had cared for soar into the sky, doing flips in the air…free…it made me the very opposite of sad.
Create a Pinterest Board with Animals that Make You Smile:
It may seem like a small thing, but creating a spot with pictures or videos of animals that make you smile can really help lift your spirits. You also can follow topics or other pinners on Pinterest. Here are a few of my animal centered boards that make me smile. Feel free to follow them if you think it will inspire you and bring you joy.
When I’m feeling stressed out or sad I can’t always go cuddle my cat or walk a dog or feed birds. I can usually though spend a few minutes looking at cute animal pictures. There is a reason cat videos are so popular. They make us smile and we can see ourselves in them.
The world can be frightening and sad, but connecting to other living beings transcends it all because love transcends it all. You never will find a more unconditional love than a pet you save or a more connected experience than to help a wild creature. And when scrolling through your phone there is nothing more relaxing than seeing pictures of happy animals. They help you remember that yes, the world can be scary, but it also can be breathtaking and fun and peaceful. By helping animals you will find you will help yourself even more.
Speaking of animals, a certain cat just brought me a sock she found so I must of course praise her for keeping me safe from a wild rogue sock!
❤ Always Jenny