This past weekend, Tracey and I spent our time representing Stonepath at the KW Pet Expo. It's an action we've done more than a few times, but it was our first trip to this particular show. And while the surroundings were new, and the familiar faces in the crowd were sparse I still took comfort in something deeply rooted in our business's philosophy.
Back when we started Stonepath, Tracey and I made the commitment that our products would be for the betterment of not only the animals who wore them and the people who bought them, but we hoped to make their surrounding world a little better as a result of choosing Stonepath.
As I watched people wander past our booth, some of them with a furry companion in tow, it came back to me just how much people value having their pets in their lives. To be clear, not every pet has a wagging tail (we did have a neighbouring hen who I think was somewhere between pet and spokeschicken) but their value doesn't decrease. In fact, they all add something unique to every life they touch.
I went for a walk to stretch my legs at one point on Saturday when I went past a booth for Savanah Cats. I suppose it could've been any kind of cat, but these felines were the ones at the show and they were putting on a show for everyone who walked past to see. It wasn't so much their strutting that caught my eye but rather the expression of a small girl who had a look of awe and hope framed in her eyes while petting one of the cats. I can't say what she might've been hoping for, but the connection she had showed just how much she was in that moment and it was clear she didn't want it to end.
The people who stopped and chatted with Tracey and I marvelled at our products, but they gushed about their dogs and how a Polished Pups collar would help them. They bragged about how smart and affectionate they are, they showed us pictures (if the wondedog in question wasn't with them), and they talked with other pet owners to share similar stories that were almost always accompanied by a few laughs.
That's really what a pet is - a license for us to love and laugh in ways we can't ever imagine beforehand, and a gateway to memories that will last forever. Some people will lavish their pets with everything that money can buy, while others are content to get a bag of treats for their Lucy or Hank or LBH now and then: in either case, we know we are the lucky ones.
What we give pales in comparison to what we receive from our pets, and anyone who has ever looked into an animal's eyes with love knows that to be true.