The Allure of Animal Companionship
Felines now share over 86 million homes in America. Canines now share over 78 million homes. Why is there such an attraction by humans to co-exist with these species? Have you ever wondered how animals communicate with each other in nature? So many wonders of nature we do not understand. Have we become so overwhelmed with self-interest and technology that we have become blind to all the marvels of nature? I believe that we should all become more receptive, aware, and respectful of these gifts, such as animal companionship. Ever wondered why it seems to be a requirement in America for our Presidents to own a pet? Are pet owners more popular, or is it that they are more respectful of nature and, as a result, better respected by the majority of voters?
Emotional Connection and Awareness
Many pet owners I have had the pleasure to meet and correspond with have shared with me an awareness they experience of their pets’ conscience. A subtle but real emotional form of perception. Our pets know our moods often before we are aware. They tend to offer comfort and love regardless of our state of mind and almost magically apply their love when most needed. Animal companionship, in this case, can be a tremendous support. I have witnessed an amazing new awareness demonstrated by autistic children when in the presence of pets they have bonded with. Some autistic children will willingly communicate with humans about their pets but show indifference and no interest in virtually everything else going on around them. Remarkably, the pet also shows a special affinity for and a special bond with these special children.
The Siberian Connection
We recently had a visit by a Russian Lady that dearly wanted a Siberian kitten. As we were exchanging information, she acknowledged the fact that she was psychic but claimed only with their national treasure, the Siberian Forest Cat. Her insights made us consider the broader implications of animal companionship. She explained that she had grown up in Russia with these cats and felt deprived of living in America without them. She noticed one female breeder in our cattery appeared unhappy and began to elaborate on the fact that this female did not want to be in the cattery with another female breeder, her sister.
Training and Perception
As a professional trainer, I have become very interested in all the passive influences we have with our cats and dogs. Animal companionship is not merely about caring for a pet; it’s about understanding each other. When I am in a calm confident state of mind, my dog seems to be most receptive to my request. My dogs anticipate the next command when being trained for trial, but I can actually have some of them actually perform the next exercise by simply thinking about it, with no verbal or physical stimulus for communication. This aspect of animal companionship is truly fascinating.
Health Benefits of Animal Companionship
There is little doubt that Americans love their pets. A new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows that more than 50% percent of U.S. households own one or more animals. But can having pets actually be beneficial to our health? Yes, say experts, “Pet ownership is good for your health both physically and psychologically,” says Connecticut psychologist Herbert Nieburg, author of “Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children” (HarperCollins). Animal companionship provides emotional benefits through companionship and unconditional love.
Science has shown that animal companionship can help reduce stress and blood pressure in their owners, increase longevity in those who’ve had heart attacks, and even relax and improve the appetites of Alzheimer’s patients. “Any disease condition that has a stress-related component to it, we believe pets could ameliorate stress and moderate the situation,” says biologist Erika Friedmann, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
Exercise and Companionship
Man’s best friend can motivate their two-legged companion to get off the couch. “They are there to greet you when you come home, and they’re ready for some play and attention,” says veterinarian Scott Line, associate editor of the “Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health.” These walks also force pet owners to socialize instead of sitting around feeling sorry for themselves, which can help improve their mood. “It gives people a routine, a thing to do. You have to get up and take care of the dog. You can’t lie in bed all day,” says Friedmann. Animal companionship, in this case, promotes overall well-being.
A Deeper Connection
Evidentially there are many of us that have heard stories or actually had similar experiences with our pets that seem unexplainable. Animal companionship is more than just having a pet; it’s a deeper connection that we are still exploring. I hope we can provide a media weblog to discuss, share, and explore further, these astonishing occurrences. If you or someone you know would like to contribute, please reach out. We’re eager to explore the depths of animal companionship together.
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