Ark-Valley Humane Society Logo

Thanksgiving and the holidays that follow are a time to reflect upon our lives, remembering what brings happiness and meaning to our world. High on the list are our pets.

They warm our hearts with unconditional love, light our souls with joy and give us purpose. Our faithful companions make our lives healthier. They make us humans complete.

Our pets are good for our emotional and physical well-being. They lessen our stress and improve our heart health.

The antics of our dogs and cats make us laugh. They love to play and know how to have fun. They are smart and curious. You never know what “gift” they might proudly place at your feet. They are free entertainment.

Their play keeps us active. They get us outside into the fresh air. They see that we exercise. Their passion to explore and discover stimulates us to view the world through their eyes of wonder and exuberance. They open our minds, reminding us of the simple wonders that surround us. They energize us by generating a positive outlook on life.

Our furry friends are devoted, loyal companions. They cuddle with us while we read, watch TV or sleep. Their fur is a warm blanket of comfort. A cat’s purr is a gentle massage of soothing love.

Our cats and dogs cheer us. They greet us at the door as if we had been away for weeks. Cats sit, look up and slowly blink, a cat kiss. They rub against our legs, meowing, “Hello! Where have you been?”

Dogs wiggle all over, wagging their tails in delight. They abandon their manners and jump up to give a hug and wet, sloppy kiss saying, “I missed you!”

Both cats and dogs seem to know when we are sad or not feeling well. They are right there at our feet, by our sides or in our laps. They are good listeners and do not judge. They remind us we are not alone, that we have a loyal companion who loves us unconditionally.

These household friends do not ask for much in return. All they need is food, water, shelter and love, all easy and rewarding to provide. Caring for them, enjoying them and giving them a loving home gives our lives purpose.

Some specially trained pets give even more, providing therapy and service. When potentially harmful circumstances arise, some alert, guard, protect and defend.

All of our pets are special, giving and loving members of our families. This holiday season remember them and be grateful.

If your home is empty of this furry love and devotion, visit Ark-Valley Humane Society and adopt. Make a dog or cat thankful. Make your life complete.

Emy Luebbering is Ark-Valley Humane Society outreach coordinator.