This is a short speech I gave at my local Toastmasters club to introduce the night’s theme: pets. I hadn’t given the topic much thought prior to writing this. But after pondering it a bit, I realized just how much more I enjoyed my childhood thanks to my many furry, scaly and slimy roommates. So here are my few thoughts:

We feed them, bathe them, cuddle them, play with them,  take them out, dress them up in funny costumes, share photos of them with friends and family and mourn their loss. We’ll gladly accept their wet sloppy kisses or just a disdainful glance as they turn their backs on us and saunter, slither or swim away. They are our pets. Confidants, entertainers, personal trainers and, in some cases, foot warmers, by excellence.  Pets are tonight’s theme.

Some pets work to earn their title as man’s best friend, while others seem to just barely tolerate us, or notice us. They come in all shapes and sizes and are as unique as we are. They can be of incredible comfort – recognized for their therapeutic effect on the people around them. Yet, one person’s pet is another person’s phobia. You won’t catch me cozying up to a tarantula anytime soon. I don’t care if her name is Delilah!

I must admit that I am biased, I grew up with a home full of pets, from dogs and cats, to snakes, frogs, turtles and fish. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m well aware that many people would never be caught with a cat around, let alone an iguana.

Unfortunately, my current lifestyle doesn’t allow me to keep a pet of my own, so I mooch my animal companionship off friends and family. What about you? Are you a fan of pets? What kind have you had and what have they brought to your life?