Throughout my time with Especially 4 Pets, I have had the pleasure of getting to know our clients and their beloved pets. A topic of conversation that I enjoy the most with our clients, is learning how they first became pet lovers. I hear all sorts of precious anecdotes - painting the picture of how the first bond between human and animal turned into a life-long love for pets. I have realized that regardless of the type of animals we are drawn to, we can all relate to those feelings of unconditional love and companionship that pets fill our hearts with. I would like to share with you, my story of how my interest in animals evolved into my biggest passion.
As a child, I was always reserved and quiet. From a young age, I connected more with nature than I did with people. I remember being curious about insects at first. I would watch the ants march up our sidewalk and use my magnifying glass to observe the beautiful details of ladybugs and butterflies. My curiosity for tiny beings became less and less, as I began observing the deer, squirrels and singings birds that frequented our neighborhood. I would sit and watch them as they munched their grass and moseyed along. I then became interested in wild cats and wolves, and read as much as I could about these majestic creatures. My interest in animals introduced me to the world in a way that, as an introvert, I could understand. Nature taught me a lot about compassion and kindness – two of the values I hold closest to my heart as an adult.
My love for wild animals transitioned into a deep bond for pets, when I was 12 years old. This was when my parents got my sister and I our first family pet – a German Shepherd/Retriever puppy. I remember the first day we brought him home. My sister and I set him down on the living room floor and eagerly waited for him to make the first move. This little puppy silently stared back and then proceeded to vomit all over the carpet! I didn’t even feel grossed out. I just wanted to comfort the little pup and show him he had nothing to be afraid of. We named him Bear and he was the gentlest, most loyal dog any family could ask for. Everyday after school, my mom and Bear would be waiting for my sister and I at the bus stop. If I had a tough day, seeing his smiling face waiting for me, made feel okay again. As we grew up, Bear was always there for every family gathering and holiday. He was a shoulder to cry on, a friend to talk to and a willing participant in our childhood shenanigans. When I was 15 years old, my family started fostering. Throughout these years, there were between 4-8 children in our household at any given time. Bear became a sort of unofficial “therapy” dog for all of the kids. He would be bribed every which way with treats, when someone needed that time with him to unwind. He would splay out and just be there like a good boy. His patience and peaceful demeanor were two of his most memorable qualities.
Bear passed the Rainbow Bridge on November 8th, 2011, at the age of nine. When I heard the news, I was shocked and I felt as though my heart had been shattered. He was gone so suddenly and I didn’t understand why. Our family moved on the best we could, with his memory always in the back of our minds. Bear’s passing was what motivated me to start doing research into pets, pet food and overall pet health. I discovered that Bear had been eating one of the same foods that was involved in the 2007 Melamine Pet Food recall, for the duration of his life. The details of his sudden passing were also similar to many stories of other pets affected by this recall. If you are unfamiliar with this story, here is a link for more information: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/recalls-withdrawals/melamine-pet-food-recall-2007
Bear was my best friend, who never needed to speak a word to me. He was my confidant and sunshine on a rainy day. Bear touched many lives and will never be forgotten. His passing was difficult to cope with, but I decided to learn as much as I could from both his life and death. When I adopted my own dogs and cat years later, I promised myself that I would be the best pet parent I could be. I made it my goal to continuously learn about pets and everything related to their well-being. When Cori hired me as part of the Especially 4 Pets team, I became extraordinarily passionate about passing on my knowledge to our clients, and vowed to always do right by their furry friends. I love meeting every pet that walks through our door, and am devoted to helping you keep them happy and healthy. Remember, your pet loves you without hesitation and you are their everything. Hold onto those memories you and your pets share together, and always be open to learning from them - because all of our lives are too short not to.
All my best to you and your pets,