This is the month of love. Red hearts, chocolate candies, and colorful roses adorn the aisles of stores. Valentine's Day is close at hand, and yet many people don't have sweethearts,” at least not the human kind. But, you don't need a two-legged companion to know the joy of love and loyalty.
Pets give us not just special companionship, but also devoted love. They are a constant reminder of what love and loyalty really are – the great comfort they bring when one has a stressful or difficult day, the joy they bring because they are always happy to see you, the solace they offer when you're ill, and the special companionship they give just simply by “being there.” Pets are truly amazing creatures!
I have been a pet owner since childhood. Both cats and dogs have graced my life and my home. As a child growing up on an Iowa farm, I spent endless hours outdoors, taking care of the animals and walking the woods surrounding our place. Most times, either a dog or cat accompanied me. Those memories transcend time and impact my life today.
I have an office space at home, an area I use for my writing projects. I've rarely been alone in that room. Furry friends kept, and continuing to keep, me company. Sage, Cody, and Mary snoozing on a dog bed a short distance from my desk, and cats Murphy and Bailey either lying right next to the computer or on a cat bed on top of the printer. My pets show deep devotion – they want to be where I am. Their loyalty and dedication rivals most human friendships, and their presence brings calm to my often chaotic life, especially when I face deadlines. Although Sage and Cody are no longer with us in body, I still feel them in spirit. And, when I look at their photos, memories abound. Sharing life's journey with pets is a priceless jewel – just like a diamond.
This Valentine's Day, whether you have a two-legged sweetheart or not, if you have a four-footed companion, then you have lots of love and loyalty in your life! Happy Valentine's Day!
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.