Adrienne BoettingerFriday,3 May 2013

The Snap:

When your boss asks what you’re doing for your birthday and your first answer is, “having my dog’s anal glands expressed,” it really makes you take a step back and think. I’ve never been big on birthdays, having had some emotionally scarring ones in the past—e.g. being held over a toilet by my crush’s girlfriend as a result of having way too many shots. Plus, I’m a year into my 3/8th life crisis (yes I’m the sort of person who sits down and figures this fraction out). So it didn’t seem strange that the only solid plan I had was having Charlie’s glands expressed. Pet owners will do some awfully strange things.

The Download:

Before you think that my birthday was totally miserable, I must confess it included originally written songs, hysterical laughter with my family, heartwarming wishes from my team at work, fun prezzies, a card that plays the Hamster Dance song, and taking off the day after my bday to get a massage. Plus now I have the gift that keeps on giving, namely, my dog will stop dragging his ass across the floor for a few weeks.

I am one of those pet owners. You know—the kind who feeds her dog organic food, thinks about getting him his own dog, and is like 2 steps away from dressing self and pet in matching outfits. I once came close to taking my dog to the Emergency Animal Hospital for prolonged sneezing until my brother met me in the hospital parking lot and kindly told me I had gone round the bend. I’m not alone; Americans spend more than $52 billion a year on our pets, or as The Atlantic puts it, “more than we spend on coffee and bottled water combined.”

This must seem crazy to non-pet owners. But anyone who has loved or been loved by a pet can tell you the truth: they are worth every damn penny. Pets bring us comfort in times of unspeakable grief and horror, help us do better at work and at school, and generally don’t ask much more of us than food, a home, and affection.

What you get in return is priceless. This is what I remind myself of when my dog takes to vomiting his own feces down the side of my bed (true story) or farts so powerfully that it wakes him up from a nap. He is also the best listener, a constant companion, and on my darkest days he gets me out the door and moving when I feel like pulling the covers over my head.

Don’t take it from me. Here are some videos and stories of pets and pet owners that will tug on your heartstrings unless you are dead inside or an evil robot (soldiers returning home, animal and human reunions, pets saving people, pets and people growing up together).

Now that you’re softened up, consider pet adoption, fostering, volunteering, or donating.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

The AtlanticMental FlossUSA TodayAbove The LawHuffington PostTodayBuzzFeed, Image Credit: Flickr


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