From the beginning of my life, I have always had pets. As a child, we always had variety of dogs and cats, and I loved them dearly, as did our entire family. Each came with their own stories and personalities. From our dog who would escape and steal stuffed animals from neighbourhood children (we had over 20 in our front garden one time!) to our cat who would bulldoze his way through our central heating ducts - they always made us laugh with their ridiculous antics. They are as individual as all the people I have met, and they all brought joy and enriched my life.
Sharing our lives with an animal is one of the most amazing experiences we can have. Our pets help us to develop empathy and compassion. The friendship a pet provides can make a person feel more relaxed and decrease stress, sometimes even more so than friendships with people. I’m sure we’ve all experienced stressful interpersonal relationships, whereas pets rarely cause stress.
Walking your dog might also encourage more social interactions with new people, reducing feelings of isolation or loneliness. I recall walking a friend’s dog (the gorgeous Siberian Husky - Shadow) and not a single person walked by without stopping to pet him, and have a chat.
Our pets make us healthier, kinder, happier and smarter. The love and friendship between people and pets is indescribable. We have a mutual dependency upon each other and there is nothing more rewarding to anyone than knowing that you are needed and loved. This is what makes life rich and relevant.