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Lessons Learnt from Pets such as my Cockatiel

Updated on April 22, 2012

Putting in the Time Reaps Rewards

Keeping pets is a great reinforcer of the lesson that you gain rewards by putting in the time and effort. For example If you look at a flock of chickens, each bird might seem identical, but as you watch them you will start to notice differences in character. One bird might be particularly bold and adventurous wandering away from the flock to explore another might especially like to sunbathe or choose strange places to lay her eggs. I had one chicken who always went to lay her eggs inside the guinea pig pen. Spend even more time with them - perhaps hand feeding them a special treat of meal worms and you might find you have a feathery friend who greets you excitedly and seeks you out. At my workplace we had a flock of 20 chickens and one of our favorites was Henny Penny who would pop into the office to spend time with us and of course the more time we spent with her, the more interesting and individual she became to us.

Each of my pet hamsters has had distinctive personalities and talents which became apparent from time spent observing them and taking them out of the cage for handling and to allow them to explore. Briskey, an especially small Syrian hamster loved climbing stairs, put her at the bottom of a flight - each step of which was taller then her body length - and she would zoom upwards. Her record was 9 seconds for a flight of 20 steps. I would never have known that was possible if I hadn't spent time with her each day.

The other area where putting in time will bring great benefits is training and socialising your pet. It is a learning exercise for both of you as you learn to interpret your pet's behaviour, find out what motivates it and improve your training techniques as the pet learns to retrieve a ball or greet children gently.

Putting in the time is a lesson that transfers to most aspects of life, spend time practising an instrument and you will get better and enjoy playing more music. Spend time with your friends and you will have closer more mutually rewarding friendships.

Henny Penny - the office chicken
Henny Penny - the office chicken | Source

It doesn't have to be expensive to be immensely pleasureable

You can pay £600 for a hand reared African grey parrot or £60 for a hand reared cockatiel, which is better? Arguably there are pluses to both, but the pleasure to be gained from developing a relationship with the £60 cockatiel is just as great as for the expensive parrot.

If you have a pet, you soon realise that they don't want you to throw money at them, they are happiest to share your time and join in with free activities such as walking the dog, creating a maze out of cardboard boxes and tubes for the hamster or teaching your cockatiel to whistle a tune.

Spending Time with a Tame Cockatiel
Spending Time with a Tame Cockatiel | Source

It Doesn't Matter What You Look Like

Pets are utterly accepting of who you are. You can relax in their company knowing that they are not judging you by the clothes you wear or because your nose is large and crooked or you have a disfiguring disease. It is a valuable lesson allowing you to look past first appearances and accept other people as well as having self acceptance..

It Doesn't Matter What You Have Acheived

In the same vein, pets teach me that it doesn't matter whether I think I have succeeded or failed at work, whether I earn £80000 per year or have lost my job. Self acceptance is an ongoing battle, but my pets do their best to show me that they think it's okay that I am me.

Pets Accept us Regardless of Who we Are
Pets Accept us Regardless of Who we Are | Source

Laugh and Play Every Day

As adults it's easy to pass a day without having anything to laugh at and never to play. Pets throw opportunities to laugh at you with their antics and invite you join in with their games so that you can share a bit of their ability to live 'in the moment' without worries or concern for the future.

Bob and Bruno Enjoy a Game and I Laugh at Their Antics
Bob and Bruno Enjoy a Game and I Laugh at Their Antics | Source

Other Things my Pets have Taught me

Never turn your back on your food if you're still hungry, because one of the pets is sure to burgle it.

If it smells bad a dog will eat it, if it smells good a cat will eat it.

If it flaps, crackles or clatters a horse will be spooked by it.

You can vacuum all you like, there will still be pet hair in the carpet.

It is possible for a human, a greyhound, a Belgian shepherd dog, a German shepherd dog, a lurcher and a terrier to all sleep together in a 2 man tent.

A cat will voluntarily get into any box, unless it's a pet carrying box.

Terrapins are an unexpected fire hazard - any piece of electric aquarium equipment will be kick boxed until it starts smoking.

Just Taking a Break from Kickboxing
Just Taking a Break from Kickboxing | Source

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a cute hub regarding what we can learn from living with pets. Enjoyed your photos and so much of what you said in this hub is spot on! I had to laugh about the vacuuming and still having dog hair in the carpet. That goes for cat hair also. It even floats! Look at the top of lampshades to see what I mean. Haha! Thanks for writing this hub. Up votes (plural) + sharing this with my followers.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      This was such a sweet, cute hub about the joys of owning pets. I loved the photos of your cockatiel obviously enjoying a moment with you! And I had to smile as I imagined how you found out that a human and five dogs could all sleep in a 2 man tent! Voted up and fun!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      As a pet lover, I really enjoyed this Hub. We don't give our pets enough credit for being extremely intelligent. I used to have chickens, and I now how smart they are. I wrote a Hub about chickens When you have the time, take a look. I voted this Hub UP, etc.etc.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      What a lovely hub and it had me laughing as well - especially about dogs eating things that smell bad and hoovering! You will never get all pet hairs up. I've tried everything under the sun and there are still a few hairs lying around somewhere!

      But you're also right about learning from our pets. They don't care what we look like or what our achievements, or failures for that matter are, they will love us just the same. If human beings could be more like our pets, this would indeed be a wonderful world for everyone!

      Great hub + voted up!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Love this hub, yes pets have their own personalities and will always love you no matter who you are or what you look like, some people could learn a lot from pets.

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • Nettlemere profile image
      Author

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Lovely to be around a group of people who share the joy of pets' company. Thank you for reading and making me feel less shy about having my stuff read!

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