No-kill commentary: Your pets' antics don't change their unselfish love

November 6, 2012 

In this fast-paced world, we often find some people become focused on one thing -- sometimes just themselves. One thing you won't find: a pet with any selfish values.

Pets don't have any concept of thinking only of themselves. Dogs and cats simply want to see that their humans are happy. Pets go out of their way to make you smile, whether flipping their toys around or that odd stunt they may do to get your attention. Even that time when you came home to the shredded pillow or a found packet of unused hot cocoa mix, hmmmmmmm.

The pillow stuffing all over the house and your pet with cocoa mix all over their mug, the carpet, the sofa and even in the bed. Mad? Upset? Briefly. Then look at your pet with their innocent stare, first into your eyes, then directly at the floor with their tail between their legs. They know what was done wasn't the right thing to do -- at least they do now. But it was worth it, even for the moment.

In your pet's mind, the pillow was just there on the sofa, all by itself. Dog toys are used and boring. The pillow looked lonely and needed to be played with. After a few shakes and pulling, stuffing started coming out. More shaking and pulling and suddenly it looked as if it was snowing in the living room. The stuffing settled and the pillow's casing was empty.

Done with that, time was still ticking and no one was home yet. Sniffing around the kitchen proved to be worthy with the smell of chocolate on the counter. A few jumps upward and a paw knocked a hot cocoa packet onto the floor. Same routine as with the pillow, a few shakes and pulling and out comes the powdered cocoa. This seemed to be fun, running down the hall into the living room where it looked like a fresh snowfall. Cocoa powder and pillow stuffing seemed to go together.

What a workout your pet had. So tired, it was time for a nap. With no time to clean up, actually not knowing there was anything wrong, you come home.

In the end, even after hours of cleaning up, a smile comes across your face. You are trying to figure out what your pet was thinking. How could she do such a thing?

Give up trying to figure it out, because your pet is full of love, no matter. They do not judge you and the last thing your pet wants is to see you upset. Unconditional love, that's all.

With all the holidays approaching, wouldn't it be perfect if all the homeless dogs and cats could be in a warm, wonderful home with someone to love them? A pet would make a great addition in your life. Open your heart and home to a shelter pet. By adopting a shelter pet, you are actually saving two lives. The pet you are adopting opens up shelter space to save another pet.

If a shelter pet isn't right for you, maybe fostering could work by providing a temporary home to a pet in need. Don't forget about the importance of volunteering, either. Help us help the shelter pets get a new home.

Remember, the season is a time to give of your heart, give of yourself, help others and help the shelter pets.

(If there's anyone in the world who is caring, loving and has the biggest heart for anyone or anything, it would be my wonderful wife, Lori. She's the best.)

If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky too.

We have new adoption specials and new adoption fees. To adopt a dog, the fee is $80 and a cat is $40. The license fee is $15 for Manatee County residents. Our adoption special is "Adopt One - Get One." Two pets for the price of one! Check our website or visit both of our shelters (Palmetto and downtown Bradenton), to find your furry family member.

For free and low cost spay and neuter programs, call our information line at 941-749-3067.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.

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