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  • Writer's pictureKara Swenson

The Real Little Healers Of The World: The Importance Of Pets

I was lucky. I grew up in a family with parents that supported my wildly huge love of animals.

At any given moment as a child I was caring for upwards of 25 critters. Most aquarium-sized creatures. My parents weren’t that crazy!

I collected critters as if it was my full-time job.

I bred mice, rats, and rabbits! I happily hand raised their babies when needed and had my own little critter business… except I kept them all. It wasn’t a very thriving business financially speaking.

When I was in high school, I took my senior photos with our family pet ball python, Sassy, wrapped around my neck and with my beloved standard poodle, Pepper, by my side. Here’s proof of that craziness:

The literal first decision I made as an almost 20 year old adult was to adopt my puppy, Yoshi. To this day it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

Yoshi and I became our own little tribe of 2 exploring the world together for 2 years… and then our little tribe grew!

The pup and I were lucky enough to add the most amazing husband in the world to the family, followed by 3 feisty rescue felines.

Nine years later our family dynamic is nothing short of entertaining!

We have a chorkie who thinks he’s the pack leader (psh).

A cat so athletic he’s actually a problem (chillin’ on top of the refrigerator is NOT a thing, Mister).

A permanent kitten who is actual perfection (totally bias, yes).

And a morbidly obese siamese that never stops talking (literally ever).

We’re a hilarious, awkward gang of 6 and I wouldn’t change it for a thing!

I am so grateful to my parents for always letting me believe and live as if I had my own little farm at home as a child.

Over 2 decades later it’s still my longest standing dream and motivation. I WILL own my ranch one day!

So as I sit here pondering my best little canine friend’s recent birthday, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. He’s the best, he means so much. All dog owners know their dogs are the best. <3

Our pets are the unsung heroes of our homes.

Their endless joy brings light into our lives.

Their presence reminds us all of what’s truly important, to love without expectation.

They remind us to put the technology down and just be, because complete presence is all they know.

And forgive, boy do they know how to forgive without bounds or ego.

We can learn so much from our furry little friends.

In fact, we’d probably be wise to do so.

I don’t often see my pup or felines stressing over bills, deadlines, or what their neighbor’s may think of them. They are like little honey badgers who have mastered the art of not giving a f*ck and somehow balanced it with complete and unfiltered love.

It’s pretty incredible.

I heard somebody I immensely look up to once say…

“I think animals are little angels sent here to bless us and make our lives infinitely better.”

I couldn’t agree more. Our pets are our family… They just come in furry little packages.

Loki – We’ve had since 3 weeks old. My 20 pound littlest, biggest baby. The most hilarious animal I’ve ever known.

Skitty (June 2012 - April 2020) – Our first feline. I watched him on Siamese Rescue of Austin for months before we decided to adopt. He’s as Siamese as can be. Feisty as hell. But when he turns on his motor, you'll be charmed. Rest in peace my precious Skitty. We miss you every day.

Mister Itty – The most badass cat you’ll ever meet. We found him in Austin living under the portable building that was my interpreting office space. He was a year old stray. Extremely calm, loving, and athletic he’s the only one that can keep up with our Loki’s energy! Their battles are epic.

Yoshi – My first love. Are there even words to describe the depth of love we have for our first dogs? He is me in dog form. We are the same spirit. We drive each other crazy and also don’t know how to live without each other. My little soulmate.

Be bold. Be inspired. Be you.

With love, Kara

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