My Love for Animals Started When…

By on March 22, 2016

We love to tell stories. Our mission here is to tell stories that you’ll engage with; that is, hear about a shelter, an animal in need, or a rescue working hard to find homes for adoptable animals, then act by volunteering, sharing, donating, and spreading awareness.

One story we all have is the one that began it all- “My love for animals started when…” We want to hear your stories.

Now, when we interview folks for our Pet People features, this question is always asked. We love hearing about the moment (always specifically and never accepting the answer “I’ve always loved animals!) when they realized animals were going to hold a special place in their hearts forever. Some people realize it very early on while others aren’t touched until later in life. We’ve all got a story and they’re all different.

Want to share your story? Use the Contact form and tell us! We’d love to hear it and tell our readers too.

To start, check out those Pet People features, but also read this story from our editorial manager, Eric:

My first family dog was just a year-or-two old when my twin brother and I came along. He was the baby prior to our arrival, and as we supplanted Bogey (after Humphrey) as the babe, he was not the happiest of pups. It’s hard to blame him. I can remember him growling at me if I approached him while he was eating, or when I attempted to take back a shoe that didn’t belong to him. I can’t remember him cuddling or licking or protecting me. I can remember liking the spaniel, though. I liked the way he’d bark at the flames in the fireplace and make us chuckle. I like remembering the time we had a squirrel shimmy down the same hearth’s chimney one fall Saturday, Bogey chasing and calling for the varmint to get out of his house. And I can remember cursing in front of my father for the first time when we’d decided my first dog’s quality of life had reached a point of diminishing returns. I liked the pup and think of him fondly, and while he wasn’t the reason I came to love animals, he helped.

Later we adopted a Siberian Husky, Meiko, from the Nebraska Humane Society. He was the first dog I loved. But before he arrived, I experienced an event from which I can say my initial love for animals occurred.

Our neighbors had two golden retrievers- one old and docile, the other just a pup. The pup, Jake, found a cottontail bunny one day and threw it around like a rope toy. And when the rabbit landed just close enough to reach from our side of the fence, my brother and I snatched it up. He couldn’t jump away, he was a little battered, but he also wasn’t damaged enough for us to play God. We grabbed Bo (named for the famous Bo Jackson because he and the bunny seemed to have the same sort of injury at that time), brought him home and prepared a fish tank with grass and water and something we thought a rabbit would like to eat.

Some number of weeks later, when he was too big for the tank, we had to do something with him. He wasn’t, after all, the type of rabbit one keeps as a companion. My father returned Bo to the wild, dropping him in a comfortable-looking spot at Two Rivers State Park. He was healthy enough to make a new home there, find something to eat and drink, and live a typical wild bunny life.

And though he was less of a pet and more of a rehabilitation patient for two young boys in the city, he’s the little bunny that gave me my first feeling of love for animals.


No one else in the world has a story just exactly like the one above. And no one else has your story, so please share with us and we’ll spread the love! Another story from our team can be found on soon, and the stories we get from you will follow.

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