I've always had pets for as long as I can remember. When I was a child we had dogs, cats, chickens, and ponies. Animals were an integral part of my life and I couldn't image not having dogs and cats around the house.
Since I've been married we've always had cats and dogs along with gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs for the kids. (Which I ended up caring for, of course!)
Stroking an animal, especially a much loved dog or cat, is a peaceful and relaxing experience. During stressful and upsetting periods in my life, having a furry friend to hug has made all the difference. I fully understand how therapy dogs are so effective in helping people recover.
When I was a teen, I had a black furry rescue dog called Brandy, and I was convinced I was a "dog" person. Later in life I had a cat that chose me when I went to view the litter. I'd gone there intending to have a boy and this little female kitten came to me and curled up in my hand. She stayed with me the whole time I was there and a few weeks later I went back and brought her home. She is now nearly eighteen and still a happy calming presence, and still healthy, thank goodness.
I also have a Westie cross who is my baby. (Empty nest syndrome, I think!) I'm afraid my husband and I are very soft with her and she even sleeps in bed with us at night.
Now I know I'm a dog AND cat person, although I know many people have a preference. (My daughter is definitely a cat person!)
I guess we all have our ideal pet. My brother-in-law loves lizards and snakes. Those aren't for me, I'm afraid!
Do you have pets?
Helen lives in South West England near Plymouth in Devon between the windswept expanse of Dartmoor and the rocky Atlantic coast. As well as her wonderful, long-suffering husband, she shares her home with a Westie and a burmilla cat. Helen has one of her Army Doctor stories in the Hearts & Kisses boxed set. (This set includes both sweet and steamy books.) Find Helen on FaceBook and Twitter, or visit her website.