Pets Over People

When does man’s best friend become man’s only friend? Are pets so easy to get along with that we value our friendship with our cuddly buddy before that of a teammate or comrade? Owning an animal can be one of the most rewarding parts of life. Feeding, grooming, loving and understanding the needs of someone other than yourself can open your heart and mind to something greater than last Fri­day night.

If you’ve been stood up by a boyfriend or better yet, you re­ceive that phone call where your parents nag you about your de­pleted savings account, pets can be a reprieve. A dog or a cat would never argue with you about finances. One of the many reasons people own pets is for companionship.

Next time you’re home with your animal, have him or her sit on your lap. At that moment are you currently distracted by cha­otic regiments or are you now ap­preciating some down time? Pets are an instant de-stressor. They provide warmth, entertainment and positive feelings. Honestly, what friend do you know who would jump up and down and roll around on the floor for a meal or treat? And no, your friend’s be­havior for a $1.00 Big Mac after midnight doesn’t count, as most of us have been that friend.

“Pets have positive effects on our emotions,” said Dr. Marilyn Denninger, psychology professor and mental health professional. “Pet’s playfulness and antics make us laugh and experience delight, their affection and loyal­ty are a source of unconditional love and meaningfulness.”

A pet does not challenge you or make you irritable. They do not ask you to complete outra­geous tasks such as taking out the trash or replacing the moldy milk container in the fridge; the only thing a beloved animal will ask of you is for a good scratch behind the ears and a dish full of food and water.

Allison Delaney, a vet-tech at Marlboro Village Vet Hospital said, “The best part of working with animals is getting to care and love them and to help edu­cate pet parents about their pet’s needs.”

Of course owning a pet requires modest responsibility, TLC and a little extra cash for pet-food and check-ups at the Vets office. How­ever, the joys to owning an ani­mal can outweigh some negative cons.

“I’m an only child, so I decided I wanted a cat to keep me compa­ny when I’m alone in the house,” said senior criminal justice major Alyssa Petry. Her love of animals has certainly increased as Petry recently adopted a Maltese puppy named Aria from Middletown American Puppy Club.

As a pet owner one should be, “Caring, compassionate and their pet’s voice since [the pet] can’t speak for themselves,” said Del­aney.

Studies have shown that pet therapy or even owning a pet can ultimately decrease stress, lower blood pressure, improve moods and can ease pain and sadness. For instance, many people rely on mostly themselves for daily re­sponsibilities like class and work and rarely depend on others for support.

Communication professor Mary Harris said, “My animals are my family; they are my best friends and my companions and I love them wholeheartedly. They have taught me unconditional love, loyalty, acceptance, trust, and true friendship.”

In today’s society your com­plaints are catapulted onto the Internet in which someone will electronically “like” or agree with whatever you’re saying. A pet can be a living social support for you even if their version of a mouse is drastically different than what’s attached to your keyboard.

As we get older we experience greater symptoms of loneliness due to less socialization with friends and family and more con­centration on wages in adult-life. Humanity for one is especially insecure, unassured and down on life, unlike during childhood when times were simple and care-free. But by extending your time and heart to an animal, you may have a best friend and total appre­ciation for life’s finer moments.

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