There’s something about having an animal companion that makes us feel….better. From stress, anxiety, depression and even into physical conditions such as blood pressure, animals have been proven to have a therapeutic effect.
I have four animals, well, four official, owned by me and my spouse, intentional animals. My animals have friends that visit, a few cats and a neighborhood old Basset Hound. We have two cats (a 5-year-old female Maine Coon named Luna and a 6-month-old female black silky named Maya) and two dogs (a one-year-old mutt puppy named Psycho Kreig and a 7-year-old Tibetan Mastiff named Oso).
My spouse already had Luna when we go together. Oso came from a shelter we were visiting (looking for a kitty). He was on the “Silver Program” (aka he was free because he was older and his life had been given a countdown to make room at the shelter). Psycho Kreig was a puppy that went through several homes and eventually dropped on a friend’s door and they couldn’t keep him. Maya was my pick of a litter from a friend’s family farm. They are our little family. Spoiled and rotten, and sometimes brats, but they also comfort me. And when I am having a bad day, they are checking on me, snuggling, and watching to make sure I am doing okay.
Research has been done about the benefits of animals in retirement homes, children’s hospitals, mental institutes and facilities, and even rehabilitation facilities. The master-beast bond, the primal connection, and the comfort created for each by the other is really a beautiful thing. There is even a way to get your animal (if they are properly trained to do well in public) registered as an Emotional Support Animal.
I used to have a registered emotional support animal to help me with my severe social anxiety. And it was great, but she was my ex-husband’s baby and when she hit about 6 months old, her temperament caused more anxiety in public than it prevented. The key is to have an animal you are bonded with and one that is well-trained to obey you in public and act accordingly (not a noise maker, bathroom trained, not vicious, and obeys commands).
The National Center for Health Research has an article HERE on the benefits of owning a pet.
Even the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) list the benefits of having an animal on their article HERE.
I haven’t written much lately as my health has been challenging me, but as Luna cuddled with me through knee pain and my abdominal issues giving me hell, I had the idea to share my love of furbabies with you.
So the next time you cuddle with your animal, remember that they may be doing as much for you as you do for them and that some medicine in nature walks on four legs and has quite a lot of fur (then again, some people have scaly babies or other little critters, so not all walk on all fours and have fur).