We’ve all heard the adage “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and the more progressive “Happy Spouse, Happy House”. (Sadly, ‘partner ‘has too many syllables to make a catchy soundbite, which sums up the complexity of being a partner more succinctly than many a lengthy diatribe.)
But I digress.
As I started getting my act together this morning, my every move was shadowed by four furry beings, all intent on finding out what I had planned for the day. Whether it was going to be one spent sat at my desk, or whether there was the chance of the canine version of heaven, a lengthy hike through the hills.
There is something very powerful about having someone care deeply about your daily plans, who is only willing to join you in those soul-soothing moments, but desperately encourages you to do it now, who does the truly essential things in life – eat, sleep and play – with such fun and gusto that you can’t help but be inspired to join in.
So for those of you who are pondering a move and wondering whether taking the family pet is really worth it, take it from me. It is one of the most expensive things we have ever done, and yet have never regretted it for a moment. They listen to the recounting of the difficult days, provide friendship when we need it most and get us out of the house when we would hide under the covers. They introduce us to new friends, literally dragging us kicking and screaming to new experiences, new friends, new environments. They give us the confidence and motivation to face the world, wherever in the world we find ourselves.
For our children, they do even more. They are the members of the family that can move with us, providing a sense of permanence and stability wherever we go. They teach them about the realities of illness and death, about kindness and consequences, and about living in the moment.
They are not without complications. I am probably more aware of the vaccination schedule for our expat mutts than for my own children, and our food bills would make you wince. But as I write this, I have a warm body that is lying next to me, and three more on the floor. They remind me to stop, be still and savor the quiet moments while they last.
So here’s my snippet of wit and wisdom for the day…
Happy tails, happy trails.
Considering moving a pet? Here’s our starter guide.