The Importance of Pets

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Megan Vogt, Opinion Editor

I have had three dogs in my life. Two Yorkie-poo’s and a mut and my life has been changed for the better because of them. I got my first dog when I was in third grade, my mom got Baxter from Santa, it was not only a gift for her but my entire family. It was the best Christmas and When I say that, I truly mean it. 

 

A year later, we went puppy shopping with our neighbors who ended up buying another dog and that sparked the conversation to get our family another dog. Fast forward two weeks later, my family went to the same breeder and got Archie. He was all fluff, no bones, and that hasn’t changed in the 12 years we’ve had him. 

 

In March of 2017, we said good-bye to Baxter after he died from congestive heart failure. He was 11 years old. I’m not going to lie, it was not easy, pets truly become a part of your families. When you go on vacation, you have to take account for them and make sure that they are taken care of and in good hands. You feed them, exercise them and give them all the love and attention they need and deserve. 

 

Having an older dog was not enough for my family, we felt like there was something missing. After mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I came across a picture of an abandoned dog with the buggiest eyes. I tagged my mom on that post and that is what I thought was the end of it. Turns out two weeks later, her and my sister went to the humane society to look at dogs and the dog from the post I tagged her in was one of them. When they came home, they couldn’t stop talking about her. 

 

After convincing my dad to get another dog, we went back the next day to see if Brinnley would get along with Archie. We ended up taking Brinnley and Archie for a walk together to get them used to each other. Archie was confused and didn’t like her at all, but he was getting a walk so it was fine. In the end, those two worked out fine and here we are today with both of them. 

 

I never thought I would love dogs more than I love people, but it is so true. I have never had a cat, but cats have the same effect on people as dogs do. That is why animals in our lives are so important. They can be as small a hamster, to as big as a horse. The feeling of taking care of something that loves you gives us humans a sense of belonging and being loved. 

 

It might be extreme, but some people truly spoil their pets. Often times more than other people in their lives. According to mentalfloss.com, in 2015 pet owners in the U.S. spent $60.28 billion dollars on their pets. It was expected that it would increase by $2 billion in 2016. 

 

I may be biased, but having an animal truly brings a sense of peace. As college students, we get excited to go home and see our furry friends because it allows for the true sense of a break to occur. 

 

Don’t forget that during the de-stress fest put on by UND, there are often times therapy dogs or just dogs in general that allow students to come fulfill their desire to cuddle with a pet and take a step back from their coursework.