Why is it that pets are better than most people at helping someone through a trying time? If you never had a pet or been exposed to one you would not understand what I mean. Anyone with a pet however will. A pet takes a lot of care and time and money but that is fine, there is no doubt in a pet owners mind that they are worth it.
One of the greatest things about pets is that they do not judge. Whatever you do they roll with it or sleep through it. You talk to them and they do not talk back. They just sit and patently watch you as you ramble on. If you are feeling down they do not avoid you. They come over to be with you, comfort you.
Pets insist on physical contact. You cannot easily turn them away and if you do they don’t give up, they keep coming back. How long can you resist the look in their eyes, or keep from running your hand over their head and down their back. You think to yourself, “what a spoilt animal, I have better things to do than pet you”. You do not stop however and the reason is you are doing it for yourself. The physical contact brings on feeling of being wanted, of safety, a calmness and comfort that can be so elusive any other time.
People are complicated, they have their own complicated lives. They concentrate on themselves, you concentrate on yourself too. It is not right or wrong it just is. I pet on the other hand has a simpler life, but one that demands you conform to it. Pets like a scheduled day. Eat, play, sleep and poop. Making time for their needs helps keeps us grounded, responsible and more importantly provides a reason (or excuse) for downtime and play.
Downtime and play. Pets demand it and they have relentless and persistent ways of getting it. Quietly demanding is what they are. Cat will just jump up on your lap and expect to be pampered. A dog will rest his head on your legs and look so forlorn you cannot help but put your hand on it and talk to him or her as if it was a long-lost friend.
Letting a pet into your life it is like a drug, a great drug. A pet relieves tension, anxiety and depression. They help keep you moving and give you a reason to get on with it. A pet gives you a reason to be.
Not having a pet is no reason to be without some of the benefits of having one. Pet owners generally love to have their animal admired by someone else and an appreciative visitor is always a good thing. Just as a good neighbour can become an uncle or aunt to the children next door, you can become a pet friendly neighbour who will look after the pet when needed. You can volunteer at a shelter or often the library has dogs come to visit on specific times. There are lots of ways to spend time an animal. I better add horses in here or I will hear about it from the horse loving crowd. Horses (and horse owners) are a topic onto themselves. enof sed.
Finally, next time a dog comes into your personal space, don’t jump back. Spend 30 seconds petting him or her and I guarantee you will move on with a smile.