I have a real sweet spot for animals. To be honest, I don’t even want experimentation to be done on rats, mice, pigs, dogs and cats. It just doesn’t seem right, does it? Yes, I know, experimentation on animals helps to create valuable medical breakthroughs but I’ll forgo those extra years of life to give that animal a chance. I admit, I may not sound rational here and after all, I am the rational internist!
So what is it about our pets that make them so precious? I only have experience with dogs but the answer is a simple one; dogs provide the nearest thing to unconditional love.
A dog only has a subconscious which is the seat of the emotional child. We have one too and it functions at a 3 year old level. Just like human beings, a dog can express love, anger, affection etc.
These are all primitive emotions which humans and pets share. Pets even have an ego which is their image. Some dogs, just like people, have to be the alpha dog. You laugh a bit when it is your dog because it doesn’t know any better. But you really get irritated if it is a human.
Doggonit, a human should have better control of his emotions, after all this is the biggest priority of the Dali Lama. Most human beings cannot control their emotions and these primitive feelings get us in a world of trouble. Families don’t speak, divorces occur and wars begin between countries.
But pets are a little different. Unless you get stuck with an untrainable pet that bites and growls, you will likely have an amazing experience. I have only had 1 pet like that and I still kept him because there was also another side of him that was sweet.
Under usual circumstances, that tail wags every time you walk in the door. The love that a dog gives his owner is why we have the slogan Man’s Best Friend or Woman’s Best Friend.
If you yell at your dog for pooping on the rug or barking incessantly, after 10 minutes the event is over and the dog is wagging his tail at ya.
Dogs rarely hold grudges. People have a hard time letting go of grudges. Many people have big egos. I’m right. I know far more about that than you do. Shut up. I walk on water. Don’t you tell me what to do. These are all egotistical statements. With dictators the dialog becomes even harsher.
Often a dog’s ego melts with his owner so dogs cuddle, lick, wag their tails and even sleep with you. Cats do too. They are just precious creatures. Show them a little love and you’ll get a big time payback.
One Japanese study found that pet owners made a third less visits to doctors.
A Melbourne study of 6,000 people showed that pet owners had lower cholesterol, blood pressure and heart attack risk versus people that didn’t own pets.
What accounts for this effect? According to the Harvard Grant Study, long term bonding is the single most important factor for living a longer and happier life. While the researchers did not study dogs, it is possible that such bonding with animals accomplishes the same thing.
Even the act of caring for an animal adds purpose to your life which gives you an additional reason to live.
Dogs are the closest thing to unconditional love. Get one, care for it, show love and you will be paid back in dividends. Dividends that exude love.