Why Pets Are Important

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Why Pets Are Important

by Rick London

I grew up with dogs (and sometimes cats). I loved them all and weeped and grieved terribly when one would die. I remember ever pet I ever had since I was six years old. I am now 52.

As I grew older, and began working in "corporate America", I discovered I did not have the time to properly care for an animal, so after I had to give away a one year old golden retriever (who happened to save my life in 1994 during the Northridge Earthquake), I said "No more...too much pain."

As time went by, the world changed as did I. As fate would have it, though I was working toward becoming a screenwriter in Los Angeles, a call came from home. Mom was very ill. I was the only unencumbered sibling hence the caretaker. I went home that night.

Returning home to Mississippi was a bit of a culture shock. Of course I had picked up many nuances from living in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, that were rewarded in those places, and not so rewarded in my hometown of Hattiesburg. I was considered "very creative" and "maybe a bit mad" in the rural south. But in the other towns, just another creative nobody trying to become a creative somebody.

When Mom died, I was invited by a college friend to visit she and her husband in Newburyport, MA. The trip was relaxing and we drove to New Hampshire to see Jack Nicholson's latest film, "As Good As It Gets". Being a dried up writer with a five year writers block during my ca retaking years, we all joked how similar the character was (to me). It was no laughing matter to me, but I played along.

I was in the middle of launching Londons Times Cartoons and could not write a thing.

I returned home the next week and continued my daily routine. Part of that routine was taking care of horses at the USM Equestrian Center on weekends. One Saturday, three dogs showed up. It was during a tornado and severe thunderstorms and they sought shelter in the barn. Two were almost immediately adopted but one was very ill and we were not sure if he would make it. He barked at thunder and we named him "Thor". He looked (and looks like Benji).

I was prodded by my colleagues to adopt Thor but I just didn't have the time (I felt) to give him the love and attention he deserved. He had been abused badly but was very cute and smart. A veterinarian friend of mine took him in and brought him back to health under the condition I would care for him.

I adopted Thor. My life changed dramatically. Thor opened doors that I could not. People loved Thor and even if they didn't know my name, they knew me as "Thor's owner". He was by far the cutest and sweetest dog I'd ever owned.

Suddenly the strangest thing happened. I began writing my cartoons, essays, and even a screenplay or two. This had not happened in years.

Thor was my constant shadow. He walked with me about four miles a day (until last year at about age 18 or so).

Since I've had Thor I have gone back to college, completed 3 years on scholarship, opened a number of Internet businesses, have a wonderful girlfriend who is an attorney in Los Angeles, and many other "what people call miracles" have happened.

I was as bitter (if not more so) than Jack Nicholson's character at that time. Now people like being around me and vice versa.

I always wondered why the scriptures makes so many references to the importance of animal care (we are even supposed to feed our animals in the morning before we eat our own breakfast)!

I do not know the reason, but I do know there is a magic energy in owning and properly caring for a pet.

I feed my dog Thor the B.A.R.F. diet (bones and raw food). He eats only raw meat and veggies; no processed dog food or cooked food. He has not had a vet bill in 12 years. I learned of this after reading Dr. Ian Billinghurst's book "Give Your Dog A Bone" (works great with cats too). The quality of life is excellent and lifespan seems to double.

So now it is easy for me to write, play, run, walk, study, work and do all the things I love to do.

I have a son. His name is Thor. I am very proud of him and he inspires me to do great things; at least greater than what I was doing before he came into my life.

I am not superstitious but I do think these kinds of events (adopting stray animals) is a gift from God. He has taught me so much more than I ever taught him; especially about unconditional love. Maybe that is why having a pet is so important to our Maker. They really teach us how to love each other. I am not being overly-dramatic, they truly do. Adopt one today and see. The magic is that simple and well worth it.

Rick London is an e-tail entrepreneur with numerous web businesses and one of the biggest cartoon sites on the Internet (and highest rated by Alexa and Netcraft) http://www.londonstimes.us Rick also is founder and co-owner of Internet2yourdoor http://www.internet2yourdoor.com which sells upscale brand items from mp3 players to vacuum cleaners at low prices and offers a free cartoon gourmet coffee gift basket with a minimal purchase.

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