Dog and human running and happily playing on a beach at sunset.

Growing Emotionally with your Companion

Growing Emotionally with your Companion

There are days with my Butterbean I can't quite put into words. Her adoration, and complete commitment for me is humbling and mind boggling. Working from home I can receive countless hours of her companionship. She leaves me only to eat and do parrot business, and then comes right back to sit on my shoulder and purr. And laugh for no apparent reason. And preen me and herself. And flip over and distract me from my work for 15 minutes to go back to eat and return for more proximity. Felix is at my side on his tent, as always. Kirby is waiting above my head, on the cabinet, for his turn of personal time. When Butters wings off, Kirby immediately replaces her on my shoulder. Dante, a devoted blue nose Staffordshire, lays his head on my foot. Just in case I forgot about him. Angus, and happy hound, stretches out against the wall, dragging big paws across that wall letting me know he too, is still here.

It is impossible to be a mean person and share your life with a happy companion animal. Seriously. You can write that down. If you walk into a home and meet a friendly, healthy, happy companion animal, the human in the room is A-Okay. Because you cannot fool companions. You can't lie to them, bribe them, nor create a false sense of security. Because they are companions fully capable of understanding intent, actions, and emotions. And they know when we are lying. And most importantly, they know when they are being ignored.

There is no such thing as auto pilot and companion animals. You wake up every morning fully aware of the coming expectations. Relationships require awareness.

I know when I'm having a bad day or creating a bad mood for myself. I know when my attitude is going south. My companions get edgy, they get grouchy and nippy. Both dogs lower their heads just a tick, their ears follow. As if to say, "Who are you, really?" 

If you are just beginning a journey with your companion, or you are considering finding your first companion, the depth and breadth of what your companion lifestyle is infinite in love and joy. The potential for being a better person, affecting others that may visit. The potential for epiphany moments, healing touches, and calmed nerves are innumerable. The potential for deep committed love between you and your companion, startling. I am still overwhelmed at times with moments of trust from ours.

I hope you find the depth with your companions. I hope you'll take the time, and allow trust to grow through moments of games, shared food, or quiet conversation. It's a good day when there's a companion animal in it.

I try to be a better person each day. I can tell if I am by looking into Butters' eyes and listening to her say hello. 

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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