As the end of the year approaches, I find myself ready to run back to my parents’ home for the holidays and get reacquainted with their old pup, Harley (a rather adorable and playful Maltese, a breed of dog that I like to think of as eternal puppies). Pets are just a part of human nature, a hub of happiness and a wellspring of never ending entertainment. Even my editor has stories about his hamster, Avarice Penmanship I, and you can never forget Smile TV’s (un)official mascot, Sophie the Dog.
I’m a big dog person, but even if you’re more of a cat person I guarantee you can get some use out of today’s blog. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, pets can help keep you healthy in a myriad of ways, the most obvious being good exercise and fresh air, along with also aiding your heart’s health. Pets of all sorts can even lower anxiety, and of course lower loneliness because, well you’re never alone if you’ve got a good scrappy yapper at your heels or… um, a kitty purring at your ankles.
One thing you should never forget is to pet your pet. As our good old friend, Science, would put it, the physical stimulus of petting a furry animal causes the anxiety-relieving hormone oxytocin to be released in the brain. This is just another one of those times my eyes get a tad bit glazed over and I get just the tiniest bit confused, but that’s science for you. The important part of course is that what’s natural (petting a pet), actually benefits you even more than just building a friendship between the two of you.
Mankind has had pets since the Stone Age and perhaps even longer, and I for one relish this fact. It is a testament to just how important animals are to us, not just on a person-by-person basis, but as a race.