I recently read an article on CNN about how a baby's first pet may protect against allergies. Children were less likely to have allergies (especially to animals) if they had a pet in the house during their first year of life. Well that's great news! I am sure that genes also play a role, but I am all for having pets, even with a small child in the house. I really think it adds to the household and kids learn to take care of the animal, pet it, love it, etc. And to think there is also an added health benefit...bonus!
I always had pets growing up, at one point we had 3 dogs and 4 cats. We also had a guinea pig, hermit crabs, lizards, and snakes. Jeez talk about a zoo! But it was so much fun! I could not imagine my life without a pet in it. The decision to get Harley was the best decision we made. He loves us no matter what, listens to us quietly without interrupting, snuggles like you wouldn't believe, and has helped prepare us for kids (we can't leave last minute anymore). Pets are also great for reducing stress and anxiety. Harley works with disabled adults, allowing them to pet him and play with him as a distraction. The adults become calmer and more well behaved, and Harley learns patience. He is so great with allowing people to pull his ears, lips, etc that I know he is going to be a fabulous big brother. In fact, I took him to the ship's half way party for the kids this last weekend, and he was so calm and relaxed with the kids (and there was a lot going on). He had a great time! His only downfall: trying to convince the kids to give him yummies....and that was not hard to do:
Harley being hugged by 2 cute little girls...and eyeballing
the snow cone at the same time. Priorities. :)
If you don't have a pet, get one! Any kind you want! You will definitely not regret it and your life will be changed, for the better.