Having a pet is one of the best decisions anyone can ever make. When someone is woken up by his/her dog standing right in front of his/her face, with big black innocent eyes looking at him/her with love, tongue hanging out sideways or probably holding a toy in its mouth, nose right in his/her face, ears all pointy or droopy and a tail wagging at the speed of 100 repetitions a minute, that feeling of happiness can only be felt and recalled but really can’t be expressed in words.
Has it ever happened to you that you felt that the world has come crashing down and no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to find a way to stop the tears or reduce that ache in your chest? At that moment, have you had the blessing of a pet come and comfort you? I used to get really anxious before exams and sat on my table until late at night and studied and at times, cried, because its just too much sometimes- too many expectations, too many unread chapters, too many dreams, too much pressure and way too much disappointment; in those long nights, when I felt the loneliest I had my loving pet dog come and sit there, just sit there in front of me and look at me. He sat there near my feet with his head touching my toes, he would lick my feet and try to comfort me, always ready for a hug. He would do everything he can to make sure I smile, he would roll over, bring his favourite toy and give it to me, he would keep pushing my chair and play around it and eventually, I’d give up too and pretend that I fell from the chair, and then he would come running, all worried and the moment he realised I am fooling him, he would just walk away. The drama, the love and the fun are just endless when you have a pet.
Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that pet owners exhibit stronger self-esteem than non-pet-owners. Also, pet owners are more extroverted and less fearful than people who don’t own pets. In another study conducted on 97 pet owners, participants were unknowingly subjected to a negative social experience. They were then asked to either write about their best friend, their pet or draw a map of their college campus. This study showed that the participants who wrote about their pet or their best friend both showed zero negative feelings and were equally happy, even after the negative social experience. Studies have also proven that pet owners with heart problems are less likely to suffer a heart attack as compared to others, the involvement of therapy dogs in the treatment of anxiety and chronic pain has witnessed wonderous improvements.
When you have a pet you always have someone to cuddle with, someone you listen to you venting out all your frustrations without any complaints, someone to distract you from worries in life and someone to always go on a walk with, someone always at home waiting for you; someone to love you unconditionally. Just being around an animal decreases your blood pressure, which is one physical measure of stress, being with dogs actually helps boost the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain.These chemicals are connected to happiness, affection, and contentment. Pets seem to help support feelings that make you more resilient at dealing with difficult situations in life. Other benefits of having a pet include developing a sense of responsibility and time management.
You don’t need to go buy the most expensive breed of dogs or cats to be a happy match, this obsession with foreign breeds to make a status statement is not what having a pet is about. The Indian stray, normally known as the native Indie dog, is versatile and one of the healthiest breeds around. They remain in sharp difference to St Bernards and Huskies who are not meant for a tropical nation like our own or a Labrador and German Sheppard who originate from rampant and exploitative inbreeding, thus inclined to various medical complications. Each year, 2.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters because there just aren’t enough people to adopt them. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, not only are you saving that dog, but you’re clearing up space for another animal that might need it. Adopt a dog from the shelters near you or even the streets, they all deserve love and a safe home. A stray’s life on the streets is filled with abuse, hunger and usually cut short abruptly by a human hand. By giving a home to one such dog, you are giving him or her the gift of life. There are many NGOs and websites that can help you (https://www.dogspot.in/adoption/). Perhaps you should go save an animal’s life and it might just save your own.
Picture Credits : Hillcrestpets