“How do you deal with all of that?” “You have THAT many pets?” “Must be crazy in your house!” “Wow, that’s a lot.” Those are some of the things I hear when people find out I have three dogs and two cats. Yep, you read that right. My boyfriend and I have two 12-year-old Boston Terriers, a 4-month-old Chow Chow/Husky cross puppy, a 6-year-old rescue cat, and a 4-year-old adopted cat, and we all live in a one bedroom apartment! I hear a lot of judgemental comments, and it definitely gets really old, really fast, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
While hearing those judgemental comments over and over is annoying, I seriously couldn’t imagine my life without all of my furbabies. Yeah, it does get kind of crazy, all the time (especially at dinner time!) but they add so much to my life that it makes all of it worth it. Some days I swear I wouldn’t leave my apartment if I didn’t have to take them out on walks, and they’ve really helped at getting me outside, and stopping me from letting that laziness take over. Rather than sit in bed all day, or watch 8 hours of Netflix nonstop, their needs force me to get out and get some fresh air and sunlight, which I sometimes wouldn’t do for myself.
They’re also great for a bit of company when I’ve had a bad day, or I’m just feeling a bit sad. Having a dog snuggled up with you or a cat purring on your lap helps you know that you’re not alone and that even if it feels like the world is falling apart, someone loves you unconditionally. I can’t tell you how many times my cats or my dogs have come up to me when I’m upset, I swear they have a sixth sense for that stuff!
Another great thing is that I do more things with them than I would if I didn’t have pets. We now go out to the Farmer’s Market for socialization and buy dog treats, to the park for walks and meeting other dogs, and looking for pet friendly festivals and events that they can go to. All of these things wouldn’t really be a priority for myself, but for them, I’d do anything!
One of the biggest things is that their needs are more important than my wants, and that forces me to be an adult, which can sometimes be an afterthought. Rather than making that dubious choice of staying out all night at a club, I know that I have to be home to feed them and take them for walks, or set up a dog sitter, which adds a bit of adult-like responsibility that can sometimes not be there when you’re in university. Having them depend on me doesn’t allow me to make those really stupid decisions, because I think about how it affects them. That may sound a bit crazy, but it’s something you have to think about when you have a pet, and it definitely shapes my life.
I think the final and most important reason that I love having my own little ‘zoo’ is that there’s never a shortage of puppy love or kitty cuddles! I might need to use 5 sheets of a lint roller before I leave the house, but when I walk in the door and suddenly they’re all there waiting for me, it’s all worth it.