Enhancing Your Child’s Life with a Pet
By Terry Coyier
I have always loved having animals in my life. In fact, I can remember only a couple of years during my lifetime when I did not have a pet. When I was born, my parents already owned a Dalmatian, so I grew up with a four-legged sibling. Our dog, Pepper, was my constant companion, from the time I could walk (so I am told) until he died when I was ten. Being a large breed dog, he possessed a good temperament and endured my constant tugging of his tail and ears. He was the one thing I could always rely on, especially after my parents divorced when I was four. Pets are very sensitive to moods as well. When I cried, he licked my tears away. When I was happy, he rejoiced with me. He was always around to play with, to confide in (offering an unconditional listening ear) and to depend on. He died when I was ten years old and it was like losing my best friend.
Within two weeks we had another dog, at the suggestion of our doctor, because I entered a deep depression. Our new dog, a 2-year-old Doberman, quickly became my new best friend and brought me out of my depression by providing me with something to love and by loving me in return.