Stressed or Sad? Pet Your Pet.

Hey readers-

Sorry for the delay in posts – I’ve been dealing with some personal and family issues and haven’t had time. But I’m back! At least until the next catastrophe happens!

Today I wanted to share a short snippet of the impact that pets can have on emotions, using my animals as an example. No, not the most intense or thought-provoking post, but I believe it’s a pertinent one that affects the millions of pet owners in the world.

I’m sure there is all sorts of scientific research out there regarding how pets can increase happiness and associated neurotransmitters, decrease depression or risk of cardiovascular disease, increase activity, and so forth. But – I’ll let you look that up. I’m interested in those facts as well, especially since a large part of me and my career is evidenced based. Instead though, I want to focus on the personal emotional effects that my furry babies have had on my well-being.

I’ve had cats since I was little, and always appreciated their presence when I got down-in-the-dumps. I’d have a bad day at school or something, and there my cat (Shadow) would be, ready to be petted and lay on my lap to listen to the ranting of a nine year old. I got two more cats in college, who helped me study for the NCLEX, move across the country and back, and through fights with my friends and family. All without ‘saying’ a word.

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Then Louie came into my life in December of last year. I got fired in September and was feeling really, really down. When we moved into a house that allowed dogs, my boyfriend mentioned we could get one. Now, I’ve never owned a dog before and was like, “Okay…” becoming more excited about the idea as each day passed. When the time came to pick Louie up and bring home, I fell in love instantly. He was so precious and loving, and has been ever since. Now, instead of wanting to lay around all day with my mind racing, Louie makes me want to get up and play. To want to be active. To be loved. He needed me to train him and to take him out. I felt needed, which I think is important. Funny thing is – I was never really a dog person until I got one. Now, I find myself hopelessly obsessed with my baby boy and spoil him rotten. We talk, we dance, we run – I cry and he licks my face. (Shut up, you’re guilty of these things too).

Now I understand the concept of ‘(wo)Man’s best friend.’

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Note: No, I swear I’m not the kind of person to dress their dog up all the time. I’m not judging the people who do, by the way. It was just too cute to NOT put it on him… 🙂

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Now don’t get me wrong- Pets can be a pain in the ass. Pooping and peeing and vet bills and barking and meowing and fighting and sitting on your head. Don’t even get me started on the shedding and my lack of ability to wear black without carrying a lint roller with me everywhere. I don’t think I have taken a pee or a shower by myself in years.

But pets have this strange and beautiful ability to make you smile when you’re crying. They can give you a purpose and make you feel needed when you feel no one cares. They can make you feel a little bit less alone. They can be your best friend without ever saying a word to you. And that’s beautiful.

SO go adopt!!

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