Sometimes our animals need a job to feel valued. Read my blog, Everyone needs a job!
Stella’s job herding cats helped her feel valued
For instance, my dog Stella, who had some herding DNA in her, loved to herd our cats up the stairs. She felt valued. The cats didn’t mind at all. They decided it was a race to see who could get to the top of the stairs first, them or Stella. The cats always won, so everyone was happy.
And Stella was great at breaking up the cats’ fights, too. It was as if she was the referee in a boxing match telling each cat to go to its corner to take a break.
Valuing who they are
But I’ve realized that most animals really need to know that “WHO THEY ARE” is valued. They need to know that their essence brings something into the family that wouldn’t be there if they weren’t around. Especially the ones coming from tough backgrounds.
We guardians can’t go wrong in assuming this need to feel valued is vital for our animals. Even the self-sufficient, “I know my worth; I have a job and I’m valued” individual can be charmed by this vibe.
Try these practices to let them know how much value they bring into your life.
Maybe you’ve got your version of my suggestions. If so, good for you, do that!
Or maybe you used to do some of these practices, but life got in the way. Start them up again.
And if behavioral issues have you upset, add some of these positive practices into the flow. They can help you as well as your non-humans feel the love connection.
Look them in the eye and tell them one thing you love about them. Something you’d miss if they were gone from your life.
If they live in the house with you, do this at least once a day with other reasons why you value them.
Sing a silly song about why you love them, what you love doing with them.
Touch them in a way they like to be touched, look at them lovingly. Be quiet or sing or talk to them.
If they ask for attention, take a minute to respond when you can. My cat Bunnie lays on her back in the kitchen and (honestly) lets out a jarring meow a few time when we’re also in the kitchen. That’s my cue to scratch her chin and tell her she’s so cute. She eats it up.
Snuggle on their terms. For my dog Molly, that means helping her get under the covers and petting the “Molly lump.”
Need help letting your beloved animal know they’re valued?
How do you let your non-humans feel valued? Share your practices with us!