I believe that everyone should have a pet with fur. I’m not sure why but I have never really connected with any of my furless pets. As soon as my pet fish died they promptly received a porcelain burial. Even more recently, I had a water turtle by the name of Squirt. He drowned, weird huh? My reaction did not involve much emotion, just a response of “oh bummer.”
For some reason if my pet has fur I will make a connection. I guess the connection has to do with us both having hair of some kind, although mine grows a little less these days, but not the point. I am able to have conversations and feel a sense of attachment. Those pets seem to elicit feelings of affection from me that I can only relate to experiences I have had with friends and loved ones.
Although I admit it seems strange I am almost positive many will be able to relate to this, and to go with that, I believe everyone should experience this connection in their adult life when they have achieved a more developed sense of emotional maturity. Furry pets can bring joy to a person’s life. Everyone has seen footage on the evening news of dogs being brought to nursing homes and hospitals for therapeutic benefits. The contact makes the old feel better and the sick feel better. I don’t know why but as soon as that big golden retriever walks in Ethel’s face lights up. I’m not suggesting that owning a rat will cure your depression, but that connection between a pet and its owner is special and can make your life better. I also believe that there seems to be a correlation to the size of the pet and the amount of attachment.
My wife and I had a pet rabbit named Jack. His full name was Jackson Norris Sebela. The formulation of his middle name would take to long to explain. We had him for over two years, pretty much since we got married. I use the word “had” because he died today. I suppose I never fully understood the connection and the attachment that I had with Jack until he was gone. When I found him I cried, and I don’t usually cry. As I held him I began to think about all the good times we had with him, my wife and I holding him in our first Christmas picture, us chasing him around the house trying to get him in his cage, the first time we tried to put a leash on him and walk him in the park (that did not go smoothly), and our morning feeding and petting routine we had. All of those came rushing to the front of my memory. As much as I hated cleaning his cage I loved that rabbit. It’s hard to explain how a twenty dollar rabbit can touch your life, but he did. We love you and will miss you Jack.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.