Having a Pet Is Important

Erin - Chesterfield, Missouri
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Having a Pet Is Important

Many families have pets that mean a lot to them, while others want nothing to do with animals. Sometimes this is because of allergies, but it may also have to do with fear or previous experiences. It doesn’t matter what the reason is because I believe that every kid should have the opportunity to have a pet while growing up.

You can have dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, hermit crabs, lizards, or even mice. It doesn’t matter what pet you have because it is still a pet and it can teach kids important lessons in life; lessons like, how to be responsible or how to deal with loss. You can’t keep everyone for ever and having a pet can really show that to a kid. Having a pet growing up would also benefit a kid when they got older because it would help them gain more patience and understanding of their surroundings. If a family were to get a pet I would suggest getting a dog because they are a lot of responsibility and the most human-like.

I have had a couple of life changing experiences that have come from having dogs. This has taught me a lot. My family got our first dog when I was four or five years old. We got him form the Humane Society of Wisconsin. His name was Keeto. He was a sweet dog but I was very afraid of dogs at the time. This was because I had gotten knocked over by our neighbors dog Rusty. I was maybe three or four when this happened. I was playing outside with my sister and some of our neighbor hood friends. All of a sudden Rusty was a cheetah! He was tromping down the driveway while each of his paws hit the blacktop with loud thuds. Before I could blink he was running all around me trying to greet everyone but since I was so small, when he came to tackle me with his excitement, Rusty sent me right to the ground. Fear exploded into my system, and because of that I was afraid of dogs. This isn’t the only bad experience I have had with dogs. In fact, it isn’t nearly as worse as what happened with Keeto.

We hadn’t had Keeto very long when something un-expected happened. One day, I was taking a nap in my parents room while my dad was running an errand and my mother and sister were down stairs. My sister was in the basement with Keeto and had given him a treat. While Keeto was eating his treat, my sister patted him on the back. Yet to Keeto, being a rescue dog, this wasn’t just a pat on the back. He thought that my sister was trying to take his food away from him, so in defense he turned around and bit her right in the stomach. My mom heard my sister screech from upstairs, so she ran down to help her. When my mom grabbed

Keeto with anger and tried pulling him up stairs. As she was doing this he gripped her arm with his mouth and bit it. After that my mom called my father and I, not knowing what was going on, went to a neighbor’s while my mom and sister went to the hospital. My mom ended up getting 7 stitches and my sister with none but a huge scar. Now that I understand what happened that day I realize that I could learn form it even through it didn’t really happen to me. The lesson my whole family learned was not to get a German Sheppard rescue dog from a Humane Society as a first family pet.

Even though there have been bad dog experiences in my families life there have also been good ones. Currently my family has a seven year old yellow lab named Chopper Calhoon Ralph Roepke. I love him to death! Everyday when I get home and open the door, he is standing there wagging his tail and waiting to trample and attack me with his slobbery tongue. He is my big headed 95lbs. puppy and he will always be a puppy to me. We got him when I was in second grade. The experiences with Keeto made me even more nervous around dogs but once we brought home Chopper, my life lightened up. I was still a bit nervous around him for a while because he was going through his nippy puppy teeth stage but one day I faced my fear and finally found out how much I loved him. He is like a little brother to my sister and I and has been the most friendliest and happiest puppy in the world. He sits at my feet when I am at the kitchen table doing homework, and attempts to keep up with me when I go running. Chopper has also taught my sister and I a lot about how to be responsible; walking, feeding, playing, training, brushing, bathing, and yes, even picking up presents in the back yard. I can tell that the hardest thing will be when he moves on but I know that is something that I will have to learn form. Loss is part of life and is the hardest thing to deal with. Having a pet can prepare a kid and make them aware of reality.

As you can see having a pet can teach a kid many things about life. Not everything in life is happy but even when things are sad they end up bringing happier memories in the end. This is why I believe that every kid should have the opportunity to have a pet growing up. So, go buy you family a nice pet mouse!