Cats and Dogs and Fish, Oh My!

It’s thankful Thursday again! Check out for a good word, blessings, and encouragement. It’s a great place to link up and share thoughts on thankfulness. 🙂thankful

Today I am thankful for the joy and the privilege of being a pet owner.

Dogs, cats, a rabbit, some hermit crabs, a hamster, several fish… My house has been home to many of God’s creatures as they scooted, splashed, hopped, climbed, padded, thundered, explored, and lived life.

Not always the smartest, the cutest, pedigreed, or of significant worldly value, they have loved us unconditionally, encouraged us with their presence, provided comfort and company during lonely times, offered entertainment and laughter during fun times, and have been a quiet, trusted presence during still times. They have softenedFullSizeRender (7) my heart and taught me the value of all life. More importantly, they have taught my children faithfulness, gentleness, responsibility, and duty. They have been cute, cuddly, messy, boisterous instruments that have helped them learn how to love and do and respect life and, sadly, how to lose.. to cry and hurt and mourn with depth and grace in the midst of losing that which they love and value.

Pets and children reveal unique parts of us:

I’ve found, adopted, rescued, been given, and bought pets. I’ve cleaned fish bowls, crab tanks, hamster cages, litter FullSizeRender (3)boxes, hallway rugs, and back yards. I’ve found myself unexpectedly cheering on hermit crabs in bathtub races..snapping photos of a dwarf hamster riding in a remote controlled a rabbit to use a litter box..speaking eulogies over fish through tears and prayers..cradling beloved pets as they breathed their last breaths..making hard decisions at the end of their lives..

A time to love, a time to grieve.. Now we have a mini pet cemetery in the backyard as the final resting place of pets who have left their paw prints in our lives and on our hearts: a 19 year old beloved cat-baby, a 16 year old devoted dog-friend, a hamster, a kitten, multiple fish, several hermit crabs, and two Eastern bluebirds.. A reminder of the fleeting speed of life and of blessings loved and lost.

We’re down to the final five: two dogs, a cat, FullSizeRender (1)and two Betta fish..almost an empty nest.

Not everyone shares or understands our love and devotion to our pets. They may at times be expensive, messy, noisy, or inconvenient; but I’m thankful for the privilege of owning pets and making them little parts of our family…enlarging our home and enlarging our hearts. ❤

FullSizeRender (8)
IMG_3917“All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.”

2 thoughts on “Cats and Dogs and Fish, Oh My!

  1. Deb, you have such a kind, compassionate heart! Right now we have an “empty nest” – no kids or pets at home any more. 😦 We rescued a puppy years ago, she passed at age 12 about 3 years ago. We miss her so. It’s hard for us to even imagine loving another dog as much.

    Hope you’re having a great week! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, animal lovers unite! Although technically I am currently pet-less, but I am hoping to change that soon 🙂 Owning, loving and caring for pets is a ton of work and responsibility, so I’m glad you wrote this to highlight the joys of pet ownership. We constantly had at least 3 dogs growing up, with other various pets throughout the years, and I would love to offer that experience to my sons. I had never thought about hermit crabs, but I think my eldest would really enjoy it. Hmmm…something to consider. Looks like you have a house full of “furry” thanks! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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