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Are You Celebrating This Week, Too?

Are you a member of a professional organization? Maybe it’s the American Bar Association, or the Farm Bureau Federation, or the National Association of Broadcasters – there are associations dedicated to nearly every profession that exists. Often, these associations create special recognition days or weeks that are tied to the work done by the members.

This is Pet Appreciation Week, thanks to the American Veterinary Medical Association. This group of people dedicated to the health of pets wanted to create a week-long celebration of the love, care, and devotion exchanged between people and their pets. They also use the week to highlight best practice care for pets of all kinds, and the responsibilities that pet owners take on when they decide to add a pet to their life. The first Sunday in June kicks the week off, which means if you have a pet, you still have the rest of the week to celebrate!

If you have a pet, I’d love to hear the story of how you chose the pet you have, whether it’s a goldfish or a Golden Retriever. When did you fall in love with the type of pet you have? When did you get your first one? How many have you had? What’s the funniest or most special thing your current pet does? To get you started, here’s my story:

Growing up, I was fascinated with wolves. As I studied them, I became aware of two dog breeds that had a very similar look, with the added benefit of being domesticated animals, so they’d make better pets than wolves would. In choosing between Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, I opted for Siberians because in an emergency, I could pick one up. That was in 1979, and since then I’ve shared my life with fourteen Siberians, and the current one is Kacey. Through the years, there have been more than a few times when I had to pick up and carry one of my dogs, making me eternally grateful that I’d chosen a Siberian (40-50 pounds) over a Malamute (75-85 pounds.) Kacey is a giant personality covered in dog hair, and I love how well she understands children. She loves to jump on people, yet as soon as she sees a child, she sits, slides her ears back so far it looks like they’ll fall off, wags her tail SO hard, and almost vibrates in anticipation of them petting her. So sweet!

Pets can teach us a lot about communication, about life, and about ourselves. Check out these three podcast episodes with wisdom from or about dogs. The Wellbeing Wisdom Tiny Bites Podcast is the world’s second-shortest – 90 seconds or less per episode – so you can hear them all in less than 5 minutes!

Need ideas on how to do more with your dog? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

Want to learn compassion from a dog? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

Want to see the world the way your dog sees it? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

If you have a pet, take some time this week to reflect on what you learn from them, what you gain from them, and how you can deepen your relationship with them. Pets aren’t for everyone, and that’s OK – if you don’t have a pet and do have a friend with pets, spoil the pets a bit with something from the pet supply store. And if you get a little dog hair on you, don’t worry – it’s just the dog’s way of sending a little extra love with you when you leave.

Sandy Weaver
Program Director, Center for Workplace Happiness


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