Pet Poonga
Health, Lifestyle, People

4 Signs that your Pet has Turned you into a Better Person.

Let’s start with a disclaimer- I DO NOT HAVE ANY PETS. The closest that I’ve come to taking care of a living being is a goldfish that I had when I was 10 years old. The reason we didn’t get any more pets was the hullabaloo I created when Merci, my goldfish, died. We had a funeral, buried her in a potted plant and marked her grave with a wise quote. I then commemorated her life with a colourful, fait-main death certificate and cried for days on end. 

The unsound attachment to pets is real. To be honest, I handled the death of my grandparents in a far superior fashion than that of Merci’s.

Having said that, pets do transform you as a person. If you are looking to adopt one, (exotic breed purchasers, I am judging you), you must consider that it’s almost as good as raising an offspring, sans the burden of sending them to college and throwing them a wedding party.

To shed more light on the subject, I had a conversation with Aditi Naik, a parent of two dogs, professional pet-sitter and an expert at Pet Poonga (follow for the cutest pet & pet-owner anecdotes) about the changes she has personally experienced in herself after bringing home her dogs and the ones that she has witnessed in her clients through the course of her career as a pet-sitter. If you have had a pet, you are definitely going to relate to this but if you are planning to get one, get ready for these big personality changes!

You have become kinder: 

Aditi believes (and I second), that humans are very self-involved creatures. In most cases, the periphery of their concern does not extend beyond themselves and their loved ones. But pets are known to have transformed the most self-centered of beings into kinder people.When you take responsibility for another living creature, your heart opens up. Sometimes you are just overwhelmed by the affection and protectiveness that you feel for the little thing. There is a fear of the unknown, of being unaware. So much so that even the slightest hiccup scares you. This feeling is very similar to that of what new parents of human children feel.Eventually, you turn into a more nurturing person overall. For example, this one time, a baby fruit bat was lying on the floor of Aditi’s home. Bats are considered inauspicious creatures owing to the diseases they are said to carry, including the current nightmare, Coronavirus, that we are living in. Now, instead of letting it lay there and assume its fate, Aditi and her family reached out to animal activists that have previous experience with handling bats and took responsibility for bringing the creature out of its discomfort. Eventually, they released the bat to reunite with its family.

The onus for Aditi’s empathy goes to her pets (and ofcourse her love for animals). Kindness has a ripple effect. Her dogs inculcate a sense of compassion in her that stretches on to all other living beings.

You take more responsibility: 

Being observant to existing and potential predicaments and taking albatross is second nature to pet parents. You can’t see your pet behaving unusually and decide to watch the scene like a TV show without taking action.From Aditi’s experience of spending so much time with her own pets and other pet parents, she has observed that in most cases, there is an unsaid understanding between the two. When you are low, your pet senses your energy. On the other hand, when your pet is in discomfort, you sense their pain too. Fearing that something may go wrong, you tend to get moving and act on the situation no matter how complicated it may seem.

You have gained self-confidence:

Raising a pet comes with a ton of responsibility, as has been well-established, and most people fear responsibility. The idea of being liable for another life is terrifying. But once you manage to follow through a couple of barriers, there arises a sense of confidence, a sense of self-sufficiency which is truly fulfilling.Aditi has an unexplained fear of driving on unfamiliar roads. Once she became a pet parent, she had to overcome this fear for the times that she had to take her pets to the vet and attend to their other needs. In fact, when my cousin was about to become a father, he adopted a dog and single-handedly took care of it so that he could feel more confident as a father.In fact, pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a legitimate form of therapy for patients to build self-esteem, develop social skills or even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

You have become more respectful: 

Given the overall state of the environment, empathy and respect is something that the Earth is longing for to heal from what it’s going through. Human beings need to understand that other living beings are made to co-exist in the same space as them (except lizards. They better stay out of my home).Pet parents can relate to this best. When you share your space with an animal, you become more empathetic to other forms of being. You understand that animals share similar emotions and are just as susceptible to pain. In fact, several pet parents understand the privilege of their own pets and start feeding strays and taking care of them as their own.While we are on the subject of strays, I am going to go off on a slight tangent here. If you are looking for a suitable pet, please consider adoption? This is a topic that can go upto ten thousand words but I am going to say it in less than a hundred. The breeding community is really brutal. Animals are raped so that you can have that fluffy playmate that makes you look cool on instagram but in reality, you are either ignorant or just don’t care about where they come from.In general, as Aditi rightly said, monetizing any form of life is unethical. When we can all agree that the human flesh trade is corrupt, how different is this from that? So the next time you order your exotic bird with clipped wings, think twice. I am probably going to get a ton of hate on this but some things just have to be said.Back to the subject, if you are contemplating getting a pet, only do it if you have the emotional bandwidth. Pets are life-changing. As cute, fun and loyal as they can be, they also require ample love, care and attention. If you can provide them a comfortable home and a lot of love, go for it!

About Aditi – Aditi is a professional pet-sitter. Yes, some people are lucky enough to fulfill their dreams! When she was re-evaluating her life, she came to the conclusion that nothing consumes her more than spending time with animals. After her canine nutritionist had a great experience with Aditi sitting her dog one time, she referred her services to more pet-parents and that’s how her venture grew to be what @shebythesnout is today.

About Pet Poonga – Pet Poonga is a close-knit community of pet-parents that share the most heart-warming pet stories. Real connections that people share with their pets. Some stories make you laugh so hard while some will tear you up. Besides, they also have a professional team of animal experts that will give you all the advice you need on the welfare of your pet!

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