Lanterns: Pets Make Us Feel Like Rock Stars


Pets Make Us Feel Like Rock Stars

Leaving work, the day is far from over.

It’s payday, and a detour on the way home finds me at the veterinarian’s office to grab a large bag of prescription dog food.  Cassie, our 10-year-old Cockapoo, has a history of bladder stones and is on a special diet.  She and Chi Chi, our Pomeranian mix rescue, have been eating dry cat food mixed with their canned food for about two weeks, and I’ve been feeling guilty.

Vets sometimes feed cat food to sick dogs to get them to eat, so it’s probably a treat.  The smell of the dog food as I’m mixing it every morning disgusts me, but when I think about it, they lick their butts and think the poop in the litter box is a delicacy, so it probably hits the spot for them.  The cat food sure smells better than dog food, but I know that it's not the healthiest diet for dogs.  It will be nice to have their proper food and not to have to rationalize or worry tomorrow morning.


I often joke that I like my dogs and cats better than my kids.  Sometimes it’s not far from the truth, as anyone who has survived a teenager can attest.  I know that sounds awful, but my furry kids don’t talk back.  They don’t say, “You’re ruining my life…I hate you!”  Cassie has never pretended that I’m not with her when we’re out in public.   Chi Chi doesn’t ask for the car keys, or money, or threaten to go live with his father.  I can’t recall a time when our cats, Boo and Grey Kitty, lied about spending the night at a friend’s house so that they could sneak off to a party with their boyfriend.  And I know I’ve never received a call from the school regarding their behavior.

After years of working day in and day out with the great American public, I sometimes think I may like my pets better than most humans, though I’m usually comfortable with pet people.  I know deep in my soul I’m a crazy cat lady, and I could really get myself in trouble and end up on one of those hoarding shows on TV, if I had a bigger place and a fatter wallet.

Chi Chi
Chi Chi

Class warfare and political adversity cease to exist among people when they’re with their beloved pets.  Those of us that love our pets don’t need to see loads of research proving the many ways pets keep us well and care for us.  We feel it in our very being every day.  My cats and dogs have helped me through the darkest days of my life, and they are taking all my secrets with them when they go to their graves.

When I finally reach home, I see them in the windows.  They know the sound of my car.  As I approach the door, I can hear a mad scramble of paws and claws on tile, and when I walk in, they’re all right there, waiting for me with tails wagging.  Cassie is so happy to see me she can barely contain herself, and does a twisting jump in my honor; Chi Chi pushes to the front to get to me.  Both are sporting big goofy grins, my favorite kind.


Boo and Grey Kitty
Boo and Grey Kitty

Boo and Grey Kitty pretend they don’t care, but they’re almost always sitting just off to the side, trying to look nonchalant.  They were sitting in the window when I pulled up, so I know they have come to greet me, just don’t tell anyone…

They make me feel like a rock star every time I come home, even if I’ve only been gone a short while.  No wonder we love our pets so much.  They give us everything they have, unconditionally.  They are the family that doesn’t speak, they just love.

Written by Julie Custer

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