Imagine, you come home from a long, rough day at work. You’re itching to get home, eat a comforting meal, and sit on your couch for just a few minutes to unwind. You’re still debating what else you should do on your to-do list. Yes, you’re a little worn out from stress and the exhaustion from the day. Then you put your key in the door, and before you can even walk through, this ball of fur is bounding at you. You drop your bag where you are. Kneel down and and hug the little fella who is so unbelievably happy to have you home. With one look at those Bambi eyes, and the smile and the excitement of seeing you, your worries just melt away. Even for those few minutes, your stress has moved off your plate, and in turn been replaced with pure unconditional love and happiness due to your fur-buddy.
I know my little one (a cat, not a dog – but for you dog lovers, this cat is 5 pounds, fully grown, and a ball of cuteness), runs to the door and greets me with a meow and asking for a cuddle – and typically a treat. She knows our routine, and knows when she’s going to get extra attention, and when it’s time for bed (usually). When I’m sick, she sleeps nearby. When she wants attention, she rubs her head against mine, or puts her paw on my hand. And when she misbehaves, you can’t get mad (perhaps you scold, but then you let it go), because … that face.
According to Dog Time, pet therapy is defined and “…used to help improve patients’ mental, social, emotional, and physical functions.” Similarly, think about the times you come across a cute puppy video on Facebook – doesn’t it put a smile on your face, even for a few seconds? Now imagine, that smile on your face for longer because your furball is the one doing it.
Animals, unlike humans, typically evoke unconditional love and emotion from their parents/owners. They respond to your emotions and actions, and forgive almost immediately. I remember when I had to give my at ear drops for an infection, and let’s just say – she was noooooot happy. Five minutes later, she was back at my side cuddled up next to me.
I’m not saying go out and get a pet. Because that’s a much larger decision. But I do believe that animals provide an opportunity for extra happiness and fun, enjoyable stress relief in our daily lives. For some of us, it’s walking by a dog park and watching them run around. Or perhaps volunteering at your local aspca. Others may prefer going over to a friends and dog-sitting for them. And if you’re fortunate enough to be able to devote the time and money for a pet, then that’s awesome.
When you’re ready for this extra dose of smiles, be ready to fall in love too.
image source: pixabay