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Nesting: Pets

Pets add a dimension to life that many people include in their nesting traditions. Growing up with pets often means pets are in an adult household. Growing up without pets, often means no animals in an adult space. Either way, pets are counted as a part of nesting – and all pets have nesting patterns themselves.

Think about the dog that circles to create a nest-shape before laying down. Consider the caged pets that chew and burrow to create nests within their environment. Water pets create caves or hiding places in their tanks that establish a nest of sorts. Horses have their stables as nesting domains.

Yes, pets create work (having just come in from cleaning, hosing down, and vinegar washing the dog run). Yet, pets also bring a sense of joy, calm, and comfort. Consider the pets who serve as guide dogs and emotional companions or support dogs and cats: working animals as many are called.

Some pets are actively trained, walked, exercised, and attended to. Other pets are coach-potatoes of the highest order, ready to adore their owners and provide comfort. Still other pets are outdoor animals that unfenced or unleashed can become neighborhood irritants (yes, the roaming cats that kill birds is what I am specifically referring to here). And a few rare pets are cared for in people’s wills, with funds set up to care for the animal(s) after the human’s death.

Our pets and the ways we care for them and play with them are a multi-billion-dollar industry. Clearly, we care deeply about our pets and what they bring to our lives. In whatever ways we care for our pets, we seem to hope that they will be there for us: to reduce our stress, to provide some joy, and to ease our sufferings. These are high expectations to place on our pets. What have you provided for your pet’s enjoyment, comfort, and care?

Which pets bring you the most joy? What happy childhood pet stories can you share at tonight’s dinner table?

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive during our workdays. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for a deep sense of home. –Jana

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