All of my kids love animals, but my youngest daughter, Avery, is bit of an animal freak. And I mean that in the nicest way. She was the most patient with our elderly cats. And she loves to “be in charge” of our dog Luna, helping with just about all of her daily care (I’m sure you can guess which chores she politely opts out of participating in!)
The other day she and I were talking about what it would be like to be a family pet. Avery decided if she were a dog, she’d want to live in a house with little kids, making it easier to steal human food. Good call. We did disagree on the whole “lots of napping” observation, however. Avery described how boring it would be. For me, it’s pretty much the highlight of the job.
After lots of fun imagining, the conversation wound its way to thinking what it would be like to live in an animal shelter—and we both got sad. After discussing things like meaty bones, fluffy beds, and cuddling with warm humans, visualizing those poor animals locked up in tiny cages and sterile, cold, environs was a harsh juxtaposition. To cheer us up, we talked about all of the good people who are out there doing things to help the animals.
One of those heroes is Jill Rappaport. She is a woman who put her money where her mouth is, redirecting the entire trajectory of her journalistic path to focus on raising awareness of animal issues in this country—reaching viewers of the TODAY show and beyond. Check out our interview to learn more about Jill and her many contributions.
Since our conversation got a little heavy, I wanted to end on a lighter note. Avery and I began debating the pros and cons of having four-legs and no opposable thumbs. What would we have to give up? An adventurous spirit at heart, Avery realized she’d miss going on family vacations. Her plan: “make my human family take me with them every where they went.”
Lucky for her, traveling with pets is a growing trend, and we got the inside scoop. Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible star, Anthony Melchiorri, shares his best tips to make your next pet-friendly trip a success.
Avery and I wrap up our chat with smiles, envisioning our next family pets. Here’s the recap: She is saving her allowance for her own puppy, turtle, bearded dragon, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, a bird that can talk, and fish who look like Nemo. While I’m all for big dreams, I think it’s time to lower her allowance.
Wishing you warm summer nights full of laughter and great company—