The relationship between a human being and his or her pet has been an important one for many centuries.

All pets can be comforting in times of sorrow and wonderful to have in the joyful times of your life as well. Think of that bouncing pooch so happy to greet you after a tough day at work, or the cat you snuggle with, relaxing while you listen to your favorite show on TV. What could be better?

I have practically had my heart broken while visiting a nursing home. I think every retirement home should have a resident animal to visit the patients and give them comfort and a connection to something outside of themselves. There are many people who travel to such facilities with animals to cheer up the patients, but how much better would it be if there were full time pets on hand to keep them entertained and interested in every day of their lives? The elderly have given so much; I think we should make their final years as full as possible.

Animal lovers like to wear animal jewelry. That’s not so surprising, but it can be a tough thing to locate good animal jewelry that is not just realistic but actually has a feeling of "live."

Since I’m crazy about cats and I wear several sterling silver charms on a bracelet, I was happy to find this adorable cat charm a while back. What I really like is the expression. Who hasn’t had a cat like that? Oh, come on. There must be hundreds of you!

I’ve noticed that other animals are popular as pets now, as well. Guinea pigs, for instance. And even rats! People tell me they are very intelligent- almost like having a small dog that can ride on your shoulder. I don’t know about that, but I’m sure there are some very charming rats.

Like all good pet owners, I take my cats to the vet for their checkups 2 times a year. The last time I went I noticed the vets and the vet techs were wearing some interesting name badges . They really seemed to brighten up the hospital and put everyone in a good mood. And when people and pets are a little nervous, it’s wonderful to see something fun you can focus your attention on.

Just like the nursing home, it’s a good thing to lighten up the atmosphere in any health care facility, even one devoted to caring for sick or injured animals. Because of course the animals won’t notice something like this, but the owners certainly will, and they’re under some stress for sure; worried about their darling pet.

Everyone who loves animals at some point has the experience of losing one after a wonderful lifetime of fun together. That may be the downside of the pet-human experience, but on the other hand that is the way life is, and it’s better to experience it and have a bit of sadness than not to ever share in that love.  Besides, there are so many more homeless pets out there waiting for someone to take them into their hearts.