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Readers tell us what they learned from living with pets 

We asked you on Facebook to tell us about the life lessons your pets have taught you. Here’s what you said.

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We asked you to tell us what pet ownership has taught you about life. Here’s what you said.

I’ve learned to ask the same question my dog asks of every person that comes to my door: Who are you and why aren’t you going away?
– Trevor Fraser



Confirmation of the existence of love without condition. And that enthusiasm trumps style every time when it comes to sharing that love with the rest of the world.
– Greg Harman


I have learned that just because humans speak English, we really don’t understand ourselves any better than when we try to communicate with an animal that doesn’t. I think that we end up blinding ourselves to some pretty important body language when we rely solely on the words someone is saying. Sometimes I feel like I can understand my cats better because there’s no English between us to confuse one another with.
– Lesley Silvia

I have learned, even more so through my dogs, that all animals know love and can feel pain. Such amazing and fellow sentient beings they are.
– Maria Bolton-Joubert

Never back down from what life throws at you. Live and love each day.
– Julie Weaver



My cats have taught me that I would make an excellent treasure hunter (using a small scoop and courage). Also, I am now very adept at imitating the movements of a bird, with string, toilet paper and a stick.
– Dawn Schreiner


Miss Cleo is a senior dog who was surrendered by her owner at Orange County Animal Services. We (my boyfriend and I) went and picked her up along with one of her cellmates. She seemed very docile and refined. … not the case! She’s a vivacious ball of sass and good times! She has taught me to never lose hope, have a good time and that it’s totally OK to pass gas in public as long as you walk away pretending not to smell it.
– Holly Hillenbrand

My dog regularly reminds me that going outside is insanely more fun than staring at screens while she stares at the door.
– Ashley Belanger

Play, nap and smile!
– Cathy Connell


My Lil’ Man has taught me that with the right frame of mind and amount of determination, physical limitations can’t stop you from doing what you want to do. What I mean by that is that I stand 6 foot 4 and weigh 235 pounds. He is five inches tall, weighs six pounds, but somehow runs this fucking circus. Damn you, Spike, DAMMNNN YOUUUU!!!
–Ryan Pemberton

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