You’ve probably have a list of all the gifts you are buying for family and friends, but please double check it and make sure you are not missing anyone. Are your sure you’re not missing a gift? Hopefully you have on your list your furry or feathery friend.

Our pets are members of our family, and have given us so many gifts throughout the year, so let’s remember them this Christmas.

Snickers has given me the following gifts:

  • Unconditional love
  • Companionship
  • An attentive ear (I talk to him, and he doesn’t get tired of listening)
  • Special touch
  • Protection

What can you give your pet this Christmas?

  • Love wrapped in a bow
  • Cuddling time
  • Exercise- take him for regular walks
  • His favorite treat
  • A plushy playful toy or a ball to fetch

In a well-demonstrated study, it was found that the positive effect a dog companion can have on lowering blood pressure reactivity was greater than the effect a good friend could have. Why? The friend was perceived as judgmental, in contrast to the dog, which (obviously) wasn’t. (Source: Creation Health. Study found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1991)

Many pets are taken to hospitals and nursing homes to provide therapy to those with illness or are lonely. A cute dog can bring a smile to the lips of children and adults, a playful cat can melt the heart of the toughest guy, and a flappy bird can bring happiness to the soul of all around him.  Some pets get to go to Christmas parties and family reunions. A co-worker of mine was sharing how one year she had around 22 people over for thanksgiving and 11 dogs… wow, those dogs were excited to celebrate together. Her family and friends know that if their invited, they can bring their dog, nice!

Some of the best video or pictures I enjoy on Facebook and Instagram have to do with pets and their curiosities. Ah, the simple pleasure of life. I am sure my dear Lord created these creatures to be with us during the good times and the not so good times. As I think of the unconditional love of my Snickers, I can think how this is just a glimpse of the excellent love of my God. He loves us so much more than our pets love us.

I’ve volunteered at pet shelters and it’s wonderful to be able to interact with the dogs and take them for a walk. I don’t want to even imagine what they had been through if they were abused.   “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” Proverbs 12:10. Let us treat all the animals we encounter with the love of a faithful servant of God. And yes, you can run now to the store to get that special, unique gift for your puppy or kitty before the shops are crowded. Or just carve out some time to cuddle (you can put it on your calendar).

Merry Christmas!

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