A pet is more than an animal that you take care of. It’s so much more than that. Many people end up loving their pets as much as they love their children. Not only do they take care of them, but they bond with them. They spend time together and go places together.
While it’s easy to think that people take care of pets, and this is true, sometimes pets also take care of their people. Sure, there are instances when a pet will miraculously save someone from an accident, but there are other times when pets save their owners simply by being there. A pet to hug, to talk to and to take for a walk can do a world of good for one’s mental health.
Back in 1998, actor Michael J. Fox announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The disease has made his life much more difficult, but during many of the past years, he has had a pet dog to help him through.
Fox’s dog Gus is a Great Dane–Labrador mix, but to Fox, he’s a “wonder dog.” In his memoir, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” which was released in 2020, Fox wrote about his bond with Gus and the importance of his loyal dog in his life. He wrote, “I didn’t rescue Gus. You can argue that he rescued me, but he’d be too modest to make that claim.”
You might be wondering how a dog can rescue a person, but if you have a dog perhaps you immediately understand what Fox means. He clarified in an interview for the CBS special, “The Pet Project.” Fox said, “You know that no matter your situation, no matter what you feel, this animal is with you and is connected to you.” He added, “Your instinct when you have a chronic illness is to sometimes isolate and make your world as small as possible so you don’t have much to deal with, but a dog will open you up.”
Unfortunately, dogs don’t live forever, even the great ones. Gus passed away in 2021, and Fox announced his death on Instagram by posting a picture of Gus and writing, “Gus — great dog and loyal friend, we’ll miss you.”
Have you ever had a pet that was more than a pet, it was also a “loyal friend”? Do you agree with Fox that a dog will “open you up”?