My best friend growing up was my cat. His name was Vidal and he was my older “brother”. He put me to bed every night, then after I fell asleep, my mom said he would head out hunting.
Me and Vidal about one year before he passed away (when I was 12).
I am thrilled that my children have the opportunity to have special animal relationships in their lives. I think animals offer the perfect balance of love and understanding. They also clearly teach the children that they need to treat them well and offer them understanding too. My girls have great relationships with all of our animals, but each of them has a special friend.
Hannah and Owen have been bonded since he arrived as a kitten this spring. His timing is impeccable- he always shows up for her when she is sad or when no one else will play with her. He is incredibly patient while she builds impractical forts for him (he usually obliges her and climbs in!)
Sierra and Burrito have a special friendship. When he first arrived at our home (also this spring) he didn’t know anyone, but he quickly chose Sierra as his favorite. He stands quietly to receive her hugs and they are the perfect height for hugging one another. He is happy to follow her around and lets her touch his soft nose (a privilege only Sierra has).
This sense of “best friend” is why I have animals in my home. It is just so magical whether I am a child or a grown-up to feel that special bond with an animal. Of course one of the big lessons in having a childhood love is learning to endure the loss of that friend and discovering that it is possible to bond again. Sierra had to learn that one early when she lost Bramley. I am grateful that she stayed open and found love again in donkey form.