Never would I ever imagine that a little furball would bring so much joy. For years my kids’ pleas were rejected. “No, we cannot have a pet. Mommy’s met her quota for living things. If we add anyone to this fam, then someone else has to leave.” I could not grasp adding anything else to our busy lives. No way. Have you seen my plants? They are barely hanging on! How can a pet bring happiness when your responsibilities are already overflowing?

When my son turned 8, his wish for a baby sister came true. Fast forward 8 years later, both their wishes came true. For once, the sibling duo agreed on something and joined forces to campaign for a pet. Maybe it was the pandemic, maybe it was our 8 year itch. Whatever it was, the stars aligned and last summer we welcomed Kobe, an adorable Netherland Dwarf bunny to our crew. Guess it’s become our thing to add to the family every 8 years!

It’s now been over a year since this little cottontail hopped into our lives and our hearts. As cliché as it sounds, we cannot imagine our lives without him. I had always thought having a pet would overwhelm my never-ending action list. What I failed to realize was that amount of joy that would also accompany his furry goodness.

How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyNEW JOY, NEW LAUGH

“That a new laugh.” Huh? My husband repeated, “You have a new laugh. I’ve been with you for 27 years and it’s the first time I’ve heard you laugh like that.”  Well, what do you know… I did have a new laugh! The bunny’s crazy antics brought it out. Wish it didn’t sound so goofy but nevertheless I was amazed to discover this new side of myself that I never even knew existed. The laugh was the result of newfound joy. Kobe opened my eyes to marvel at life’s simple moments.

How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyBUNNY MEDITATION

Bunny meditation? Is there such a thing? Maybe not officially, but it’s become a thing for me. Over the years I’ve tried countless times to meditate. I’ve downloaded apps, followed guided meditations by experts but could never sit still and declutter my mind. Then Kobe hopped along. Not sure how he does it, but the bunny has taught me to be truly present in the moment. For the first time in my life I’ve been able to clear my mind. I’ve quieted that voice that never shuts up and reminds me of all the things I have to do. When we’re together, my mind is not racing with my endless To Do list. I’m simply focused on being there. In that very moment. I’m not thinking of anything else. I’m just there and it’s pure joy.

How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyTWO-WAY TLC

I’ve always prided myself in being a strong independent woman. The famous Destiny’s Child anthem resonates as I power through my goals. I don’t need anybody because “I depend on me!” But there’s a difference in needing somebody versus needing some bunny. I learned that even strong independent women need cuddle time. Hustle to your heart’s content, but there’s also power in the slowdown. No matter how busy the day gets, I take time to hold Kobe against my heart. I also love when we do forehead to forehead. In giving him some tender lovin’ care, he’s given it right back to me. There’s nothing more regenerating. This unconditional TLC revs up your creativity, your energy, your motivation to achieve any goal. The b-side (or in this case the bunny-side) of life is what refreshes your energy and brings joy.

How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyBUNNY WORTHINESS

Old me used to jam-pack my schedule. Hustle, hustle, go, go, go! Now I base everything on, “is it bunny worthy?” I’ve become stricter with my schedule. Do I want to leave my bunny to do this? That? Our daily routine has him hopping around my home office. It warms my heart to have him by my side as I work away. The rhythmic sounds of my typing also lulls him peacefully to sleep. He’s taught me to be protective of this time, my time, our time. So if you see me out and about, it’s because it’s passed the bunny worthiness debate.

How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyQUALITY OF LIFE 

Joy is not about having epic moments every day. Joy is about making the most of the life you have in front of you. Savouring it, being grateful for the blessings big and small. For the longest time I was on autopilot. Every night after I put my daughter to bed, I’d turn the laptop back on and work. I wore work like some badge of honour. Yay for me, for working around the clock. It was so unhealthy but I never gave it thought because I was too busy to think about anything other than work.

While previous efforts to slow down yielded dismal results, Bunny has taught me to have a better quality of life in a way that only his two and a half pounds of fluffiness could. It’s now about “Stop & Hop” as in stop working, making time for hopping. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I no longer work at night. Evening is prime bunny play time when he loves to zoom across the room, do his little binkies. And he likes having a captive audience. When I get sidetracked and look at my phone, he’ll hop over, put two paws on me and look intently as if he’s saying, “Hey! No technology. It’s me time.” Quite intimidating for a fluffball.

Pets certainly improve your quality of life and bring much joy. Because I want him to have fresh air, it forces me to get outside and get air too. In adapting my life to suit his, it’s brought untold benefits. Paws-itivity indeed! Taking time to play, and live in the moment is not just about bunny care but self-care as well.How Pets Make You Happy Kobe The BunnyIt’s hard to believe that someone so small and doesn’t even make a sound would have such a profound impact on my life. That’s the magic of pets, something I never truly understood until now. Kobe is my bunny bundle of joy. Tell me about yours. Would love to hear how your pet makes you happy too!HowPetsMakeYouHappy(8)