No matter how busy we get, we always find time for our animals. These loving creatures add so much depth to our lives and souls. Their non-judgmental, unconditional love is a precious gift and an important life lesson. It’s probably why I always love those who care for animals and share them with others. 

One of my favorite pastimes is going to my local specialty pet store or, for larger animal friends like horses, a tack and feed store. Even if I do not need to buy anything for my little creatures at home, I sometimes stop in simply to browse the space. I take deep, slow breaths, smelling the amalgam of leather accessories, plastic toys and treats—the smell that only animal lovers understand. 

Each visit I purchase my family’s horses' favorite yummy treat: a grain, molasses muffin with a peppermint candy pressed onto its top.  It made me so happy to discover them and also makes me happy to watch our horses love every bite of these treats.

Being around, not only these animals and stores, but also a stable or animal shelter can be a major stress reliever.  My oldest daughter was away at college and was a bit home sick.  She grew up riding horses and realized she missed this hobby in her life. So she researched and found a local horse stable, and began spending time at this stable; helping them cleaning the horse stalls and doing a bit of riding. She also just enjoyed sitting around the stable and, believe it or not, just taking deep breaths of the stables. The smell gave her memories of her childhood and helped her de-stress from her rigorous class schedule and workload.  These moments definitely helped her get through her college education away from home.

Never hesitate to stop what you are doing in your day and visit one of your favorite animal-related sites for pure enjoyment.