THROUGHOUT my life I have always had a faithful and trusted pet to come home too. When I was growing up we had cats, many cats that I can remember, but my favourite was a large and handsome black and white called Bracken. Coming home from school and hearing his familiar purr and the touch of his sleek black and white coat rubbing around my legs. As time wnet on I always, secretly (or not so secret at times) wanted a puppy, a Retriever puppy, and when the Andrex loo rolls bought out a soft toy to match, I saved up the tokens and waited longingly for it to drop through the door.
EVERY dog I could borrow I did, and many times we would 'holiday sit' for my aunties, and friends.
IN my adult life, as soon as I had space we went to the local rescue home and chose Bloo, a border collie cross. and so the love affair continued. But why?
ANYONE who is working in the animal field will tell you that the virtues of a twice daily walk in the fresh air are obvious, but the benefits of having a faithful friend go way beyond your fitness levels. When you feel lonely, there is someone there, a wet nose and a wagging tail, to greet you. The benefits are equally psychological as they are physical, to a point that dogs are now being trained and used in hospitals and rehabilitation for treatment of Alzheimers and Post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD) and especially with children with autism.
THERE is research to prove that animals are trusted because they are consistent. They provide unconditional love and are always the same. Children who grow up with animals around share a compassion and a unique bond often and interesting research extends that it is not just our canine friends, but actually any. In china many people feel fish provide the same calmness.
THE joy from animals is far stronger than any gym membership. For now, I have no pet. I greatly miss the mindfulness that animals can provide. The sheer joy of living in the moment. What do I miss most.... the afternoon snooze with my furry friend. A round pink tummy and the gentle snore is so important.