Four Legged Friendships: A Special Bond

When I was growing up, I never knew what it felt like to have an animal running around the house. No pitter patter of paws on the hardwood floors or greetings at the door by four legged friends.

My childhood was wonderful, but I never knew the unique love that comes with having a pet.

I never knew what I was missing out on, until I moved out of my parents house. My twin sister had wanted a cat since she was 10, and we finally got to fulfill that wish when we adopted Odin from a local animal shelter. At first, we were both a little nervous, unsure of how to actually take care of an animal (since we had no prior experience) but we quickly adjusted to having a four-legged roommate.


We’ve had Odie for almost two years now and he has taught us countless lessons, made us laugh more times than we can count, and helped us learn how to take care of another life. His funny, quirky personality and insane energy make us smile when we’re in pain and his unconditional love reminds us that, even though we may be “sick“, there are animals and people in the world who will love us despite our illnesses.

I personally believe that animals are very intuitive and know when people need comfort or healing.

When my sister or I aren’t feeling our best, Odie seems to be closer than normal, cuddling on our laps and giving us all of his love. He constantly reminds us to be more playful in our daily lives, rest when we’re feeling under the weather, and to accept and give unconditional love to those around us.

While having animals in our homes is such a blessing, there are different reasons why some people may not be able to have an animal.

If that is the case for you, here are some suggestions to get that unique animal love that helps so much:

  • If you aren’t allergic to animals, find friends who would let you visit with them (and their animals). Being able to be around animals is an amazing experience, but visiting friends’ animals is an easy way to interact with them without having to own one yourself.
  • If there are animal shelters or farms in your area, go visit with the animals there. Visiting these places is an easy way to get your animal love fix too.
  • If you are too sick or have a hard time leaving your home, watching funny and cute animal videos on YouTube could be the next best thing. Laughing at the funny things that animals do could help reduce anxiety and allow you to get your dose of animal love without having to leave your house.

While we are all so thankful for our caregivers, family, and friends that have stood beside us in the good and bad times with illness, we should also remember to be grateful for the unconditional love that our pets give to us every day. They are always there for us (no matter what) and are a crucial part of our families. I know that I wouldn’t be the same person without having Odie in my life and I’m sure that all of you feel the same about your four legged friends. There is just something about the special bond that is unexplainable, yet life saving.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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