Show Us Your Pet Appreciation!

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.”

Robert Brault

Some people like to jog with their dog while others like to cuddle up with their cat and read, but despite species, breed, feathers, or fur, one thing remains the same − pets play an integral part in the life of those who love them.

Amanda, a member of the ISF’s creatures division had goldfish and a cat growing up, but when she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she bought her tortoise Bradley while away at school. “I absolutely believe that pets can have enormous health benefits because I look at my Bradie and can’t help but smile! I just love him so much!”

While he is neither a dog nor a cat, “people always do a double take when I tell them that I have a tortoise. But anybody who thinks that he’s ‘just a tortoise’ hasn’t met him. He really has personality plus, and everybody who meets him, agrees! He was basking under his heat lamp once, sitting with his head looking out of his tank, and I knelt down in front of him, put my face right in front of his and said, 'hi Bradie!' He pushed his head further out of his shell, looked right at me, got up, turned one hundred and eighty degrees, and sat back down. Point made!”

Tortoises eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and just like people, they have their likes and dislikes. “When I first got him, they told me the best thing to do would be to buy a variety of fruits and vegetables and just see what he liked. His favorite was, and still is, mushrooms. When I told my family that, they thought it was hysterical because my absolute least favorite food in the world is cooked mushrooms!”

Emily, another member of ISF’s creatures division, is the “mother” of Angel, a Chihuahua mix, making her a member of the smallest (size-wise) dog breed in the world. “I went to Wyoming to get her from a foster family while living in Colorado. I actually went to get a sister of hers but fell in love with this sweetie as soon as I met her. About a month prior, I lost my pup of nine years unexpectedly, so there was a hole in my heart. Though Angel will never take Peppers’ place, she has warmed my heart up so much over the last three years…”

“I love having animals around me [as] we have two dogs and three cats. It keeps me playful! They are a huge under taking but well worth it if you can keep them up! She [Angel] sleeps in my bed keeping my feet warm every night. I don't know what I would be like if my sweet Angel wasn't here with me today. I just love her to pieces.”

Irina Martins from Portugal has two pets. The first pet, a cat named Frodo, was rescued when he was one month old. “He's always attacking my legs, but at the same time he does not want to be far away from me. Everywhere I go in my house, he's coming after me. He likes to hunt flies, but he's such a bad hunter! But the important thing is that he is loved by everyone in this house, even when he attacks us!”

Irina’s second pet is a dog named Twiggy. “Twiggy, my dog, is a seven year old blessing. Twiggy was my grandfather's dog, but when he died from stomach cancer, I really wanted to stay with him. I didn't want to give him to another person because he's like family, and he's like a piece of my granddad that's still alive! He's so sweet. He likes to give hugs, and every time he sees me, he runs in my direction and does not stay away until I hug him! Twiggy and Frodo are the two loves of my life. I really can't live without these angels…well, Frodo is more like a little devil…”

Sonya Saranee has quite the household of pets with a dog, two cats, thirteen fish, and a turtle. But her dog, Miss Bebe, is more than just a dog to her. As Sonya said, “she's more than that. She's a friend, a protector, a goofball, a soul mate, a spiritual companion, a cuddle buddy, a dork, my child (not in a human sense), and is as smart as a whip. We had been looking for a pup. We adopted our previous dog from animal control and all my dogs growing up were rescues. We searched animal control and local rescues, but I am not one to just adopt a dog because it's super cute. It needs to be a dog that will fit in with my family like a glove. Then, I heard about an 'accident litter' and saw this so called 'Pit Bull puppy' for fifty dollars. I have always loved this breed type so I was interested. She was the most gorgeous pup I'd ever seen. She's perfect.”

“She makes me laugh, and I talk with her all the time. It's amazing how much she can light up my day. I’m a responsible owner and because of her breed type, I educate myself on the breed more and more all the time. I am an advocate for Pit Bull owners who know the breed. I do not allow my dog off her leash because even with her good recall, she is still a terrier; you never know if a squirrel may run by, and in just one second, she could be gone. Dogs live in the moment. She's too important for me to feel the need to be trendy and take her off the leash at dog parks. She is a Pit type, and as an educated owner, I know that these dogs have it in their genes to be terriers and also sometimes aggressive. She sleeps with me every night, and sometimes I wake up and just look at her in awe of how committed she is, snuggling to keep me warm.”

Pit bulls get the rap of being unpredictable and dangerous, but allowing them to have early socialization with other dogs is the best way to prevent aggressive behavior as they grow. Pit bulls are naturally very energetic, and excitable, and they have a more rough-and-tumble play type than other breeds, which is why they can gain the reputation of being “bad tempered” or “violent”. But a well-trained and well-socialized pit bull can be a most charming and kind pet to have! (1)

The ISF creatures division wants to know about you and your pets! Send us your story and a picture too! Tell us why your angel is so special to you! 

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