Posted by: Wendy | April 6, 2012

Happy pets and happy owners

My dad has always been a firm believer that pets can make people live happier and longer lives. And boy did we have pets in our household.

  • Lets start with our first pet – a goldfish named Sylvester.
  • And then our other goldfish – Marmalade – to keep Sylvester company.
  • An then our 2 blue yabbies. Our prawns. Our hermit crabs.
  • And then our tropical fish tank of 2 guppies… which soon turned into 10 guppies… and then 100…
  • And then our wall sized fish tank of tropical fish.

Our family was one happy bunch – all 150 of us.

Introducing Ernie the cat 

We then found a hungry little tabby cat abandoned on the street on cold winters day. A jogger jogged past and threw her some leftover bread in front of our fence. She never left, and waited day and night under our rose bush for the jogger to return. So my dad took her in too. And we were one happy family – we had all of the above, plus a cat called Ernie.


One night the unthinkable (for fish owners) happened and the power went out. Over the course of the night, my sister and I took 3 hour shifts boiling water, treating it and putting it in the tropical fish tank so that the hot water fish did not die of hypothermia. And that’s when mum ordered that the fish had to go.

We sold the fish but kept the cat.

Ernie was  incredibly intelligent and always caring. She knew how to read human emotions and was always there to cheer everyone up. We used to pat her constantly, and she would purr contentedly. Whenever we had a bad day Ernie was always there to talk to – being the only “objective” listener in the house. It was a terrible time when Ernie got sick – we wanted to keep her with us as long as we could – because she was our happy pet and we were her happy owners. We were devastated when she passed away – but we were glad we had her in our lives. On the day that she died she picked up her head, smelled the roses above her head, and then lay her head on her favourite pillow and went to sleep.

We were so happy to have Ernie – sometimes pets just literally walk into our lives, and they are blessings in disguise. She taught us to love animals and to extend our care beyond our species.

Introducing Sammy 

And then came Sammy.


We found Sammy on the Animal Re-homing Service. Sammy won’t talk and be a good listener, but she will sit on your lap and demand attention. One of the amazing things about Sammy is that sometimes I will catch her looking skywards looking for birds. Sometimes I wonder what she is thinking about and what cats in general think about in their spare time.

But she adds a happy dynamic to our house. She brings us to tears when she does funny things (like when she was sleep eating a few nights ago and woke up confused as to why she was not in the kitchen). And she makes me feel so comfortable and loved when she sleeps at my feet at night.

Shes a happy cat because we’re happy owners, and we’re happy owners because shes a happy pet.

Lilly and Amber 

My boyfriend  has two little dogs – Amber and Lilly.We call them AMBIE and LIL.


They run around and play together, and they go to sleep together in each others arms. They bring so much life and happiness to the household, and their pure dog happiness, and innocence emanates through. Whilst simple words like DINNER, CAR and BALL would not even make us flinch as humans, these same words make Ambie and Lil jump for joy. The family antique shop down at the Mornington Peninsula is called Amber and Lilly and the delivery van’s number plate features the word LILLY. Its amazing how pets can bring so much happiness to our lives, and make such a positive impact to a busy household.

And finally spare a thought

I’ve always been moved by the plight of the moon bears in Asia. Bears are taken from the wild, put in cages, and then compressed in the cages whilst the bile from their stomach is siphoned out. Animals Asia is an organisation that helps free these poor suffering animals. I think about the suffering of other animals in the world, like the caged hens and pigs in pig stalls.

And look skyward and think how it has come to this.

I wish that our state of ‘happy pets and happy owners’ can one day extend to these animals. I wish that one day they might be able to feel some happiness and love that other animals feel.

This is a long post

This is my first post and I think it has probably gone on too long for a normal post.

I’m going to give my cat Sammy a pat :)


  1. I love my pets! But I wish we could think of something to do about moon bears and in fact all animal cruelty. People cruelty is pretty bad too but somehow animals seem more helpless against humans. I hate the thought of what happens to those bears but what do I do? I dunno!

  2. I think being aware of what goes on is the best first step that anyone can take to help animals. There are also organisations out there trying to make a difference like the Animals Asia Foundation.

    I wish that the happiness that we get from our pets; and the love we show to our pets can one day extend to all animals – whether they are dogs, cats or bears : ) Thanks for leaving a comment – it was a really lovely one.

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