Reflections 1: Pets in our community

I had a moment of epiphany today. it was Good Friday and I didn’t have any appointments, commitments or consultations that I needed to hurry on to. Nevertheless, there were still a couple of starving cats, starving chickens, starving guinea pigs and last but not least the pet rats to feed and water. Oops, musn’t forget the friends’s chooks down the road while they were on holidays. Did I just say there were no commitments today and it was a HOLIDAY? I think that was a rhetorical question. Anyway after a mid morning breakfast, after the ‘jobs’, I headed off to the Farmer’s market down at Cunningham Pier along the Geelong Waterfront. I had a lovely time sampling fresh apples, slices of pizza and ice-cream before heading back towards my bike. Lost in the festive crowd of fun runners, market visitors and tourists, my mind wandered onto the topic of why people didn’t own pets.
A common excuse was that it made it difficult to go away on holidays. Looking over the waters of Corio Bay I suddenly understood two things. Firstly, being busy meeting the needs of patients, clients, children, colleagues and everyone else in between the cracks, meant that there was little time for reflection and creative thought. Downtime is important even for me.
Secondly, having animals didn’t make life more difficult at all. When I have to go away, I have a lovely neighbour in my street that is happy to feed my hungry furred and feathered creatures. There are a couple of other neighbours that I can call on as back up if the need arises. I help my neighbour with her pets and kids at other times. We share surplus fruits and vegetables and even pets in my street. Owning pets didn’t put any shackles on me at all, it made me a small part of a bigger whole and enriched the friendship bonds in the community. So if you think having pets means no holidays, don’t be an island, get yourself a community.

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