Today we have a very special treat for you. An exclusive story about “why pets are so good for us” by Sheila Jeffries, author of Solomon’s Tale and Solomon’s Kitten:
I was lucky to be a country child. The dogs, cats and horses in my life were great teachers. Their wordless, unconditional love was so healing for me, and they truly gave me more than I could ever give back.
Children suffer so much from words and judgements that hurt and chip away at their confidence. A loving cat or dog, or even a rabbit, does not judge, does not blame. No matter what you have done wrong, your pet will still welcome you home, and, hey, isn’t that what is so needed in the world? Caring love, the kind of love that inspires us to do better because we want to, not because it’s an obligation.
Learning to look after a pet is wonderful training for being an adult who knows how to get on with people, how to consider other people’s needs and feelings. Children who have faithfully cared for a pet will gain enhanced sensitivity, and develop practical caring skills. Brushing a cat or dog is fantastically satisfying, and fun, a good way to calm an over excited or upset child. Left alone with a reliable pet, a child will often confide their worries to the attentive listener, and know their secret is safe.
My wonderful cat, Solomon, was brilliant at helping people relax and laugh. If there was a row, or if he considered the humans were getting too serious, he would start playing, and do something absolutely scatty, usually something that had raised a laugh the last time he did it.
And his purring was legendary. He made sure you could feel the healing vibration of it by lying full length on your heart.
Beyond the obvious, there are deeper, more subtle lessons animals teach us, and sometimes we don’t realise until years later exactly what they were trying to show us. I believe the greatest of these is the letting go we have to do when a pet dies. So often, children are devastated and inconsolable, and yet it is precious life experience. How to grieve and move on. We can’t, and shouldn’t protect our children from these life lessons. It will help them to be stronger, wiser adults.
Thank you very much for reading her story and don’t forget to check out her website by clicking here.
Her book is published by Avon in the UK by the way and to find out more about the book and where to purchase is please click here.
We will also be featuring a review of the above book: Solomon’s Tale in the near future so stay tuned! 🙂