Woods: Owners of pets learn important skill set

Zoë Woods

Responsibility is a trait that everyone should possess. It comes into play in nearly all aspects and stages of life. Responsibility can present itself in a plethora of forms too, such as the responsibility of caring for a pet.

Being responsible for a pet can be a burden as well as a joy. It is an experience that creates everlasting memories. Caring for a pet is an important responsibility that everyone should partake in at least once in his or her life, and preferably before a child comes into play.

Through the experience of caring for an animal, you will find that they give you the basic necessities of caring for something much more important, like a child. Being responsible for a pet puts their life in your hands. You must nourish the animal and nurture the animal. It would appear you are in fact raising the animal to be what you want it to be. It is very similar to caring for a child — a child must have nourishment and shelter, as well as attention and “training” from his or her parents.

Starting out with an animal, like a dog, is a great way to prepare you for the greater responsibilities that will arise in your future. The dog that you so graciously decided to open your life up to is whole-heartedly dependent on you for your love and caring.

Unfortunately, this importance cannot be described fully unless you yourself have indulged in this experience. There is a certain quality that owning an animal possesses. And that is a bond that is formed between you and the animal after a period of time.

Owning an animal and caring for it provides a sort of fulfillment, a sort of completion that starts to build up the more time you spend with it. There is a certain part of you that you never knew existed. As Anatole France so eloquently states, “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

As I stated earlier, it is difficult to describe what owning an animal does to you, unless you have of course experienced it for yourself. I can tell you that you will gain so much from that four-legged friend. Being on the receiving end of the love the animal emanates is priceless and I’m sure parents would say the same for the children they have raised in their lifetime.

The importance of owning an animal before having a child is that it is less of a chore and more of a joy because of everything you receive from the relationship. You not only get a friend and companion, but also a sense of accomplishment from how you connected and raised the animal. So if you have the option of taking on the responsibility of caring for an animal, even if it is just a hamster, then do it because it will help prepare you for the responsibilities that lie ahead.