Vicky Neville was the happy owner of three bulldogs, but life slowly started taking a downward turn. First, it was losing her pups. Then it was going through a divorce. After that, the passing of her sister. Eventually Vicky was admitted to inpatient care for chronic depression, which (as sad as it may sound) serendipitously led to her finding her happy ending.
The Mr. Mo Project is a nonprofit that aims to keep senior dogs out of shelters by finding them forever homes. Founders Chris and Mariesa Hughes heard about Vicky and thought she'd be the perfect candidate. So they surprised her with Macy, a senior bulldog. According to the company, "Vicky and Macy connected instantly, and before Vicky knew it, her life began to change. She found herself living life again, laughing, gardening, and rediscovering the parts of her day that made her truly happy, all with her new companion by her side."
You know those times when life just sh*ts on you? Well, isn't it nice to see how bad times sometimes lead us to a happy place, in one way or another? Hopefully this video puts a smile on your faces:
I won't bore you with the story of how I became the epitome of a cat lady—a proud owner of not one, not two, but four felines. They are quirky, cuddly, and a lot to handle, from their constant need for attention to the awe-inspiring amount of hair they shed. So when my boyfriend and I decided to live together, let's just say he had a lot of adjusting to do in the form of these little (and one very big) fur balls.
Whether, like me, you find yourself living with a significant other who formerly went pet-free, or you're simply introducing your new guy to the most important animal in your family, there can be a lot of pressure for your man to love your fur baby.
"If the pet doesn't like him, it can become a showdown right out of the gate," explains Jane Greer, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of What About Me? How to Keep Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. "It's essential for your pet and your boyfriend to click in order for the relationship to stay harmonious. Without that click, it's going to be trouble."
Pet owners understand: Your cat, dog, or parakeet isn't just an animal. He or she is your "closest family member," says Greer. "You love and cherish him or her, and are with him or her all the time. They're a constant force of unconditional love." In a way, the relationship you have with your pet can be just as fulfilling as the one you have with the main man in your life. After all, your dog has likely never run in the opposite direction at the first sight of tears—instead, he climbed into your lap and gave you a sloppy, wet kiss when you needed it most.
"It's really important for your boyfriend to like your pet so the relationship will in no way threaten the bond with your pet, the love that you both share, and the sense of well-being and security that your pet provides you with," Greer says. Here's how to help your guy along, in three easy steps.
1. Accept that he's new to the whole pet thing. It might not be natural for him to pet your pooch, for example, the second he walks through the door while you'd drop everything to scratch that dog's ears. Be patient, Greer says, as he navigates getting used to your pet.
2. Plan activities to bond your boyfriend to your pet. "For example," says Greer, "if he's a dog person and you love cats, introduce him to your cat and set aside time for him to participate in the activities—e.g. playing with them, feeding, walking, etc." Soon, he'll learn to see just what you love in your furry friend.
3. Don't force his feelings. Maybe your man doesn't have to adore Mr. Socks as much as you do. "If he's not into having a pet at all, that can be a deal-breaker," Greer says. Otherwise, if you're willing, "you could make some allowances about what the pet is allowed to do in the house—e.g., sleeping on the bed—or you could tell him he doesn't have to walk, feed, or otherwise take care of the pet because you'll handle all of the responsibilities."