The Bond Between Pets and Owners


    Last Christmas during our family gathering, I witnessed the sweetest thing from my beagle Blaze. A little 9-month-old baby who had just learned to walk was hobbling around and tumbled back on her behind and began to cry. As a couple of us walked up to her to soothe her, I noticed that Blaze was the first to respond. Not having kids of our own yet, we didn’t know how he would respond to her high-pitched wail. We watched in amazement as he walked up to her and lovingly licked a tear from her cheek.

    This type of emotional response from an animal to a human is one of the things that make a bond special between us. Our pets have strong intuition that many times goes unnoticed by their owners, because of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. But if we think about it, we can probably all remember a time when we were feeling sad or depressed and our pet never left our side.

    When my husband and I first saw Blaze at the Humane Society, I knew we wouldn’t be leaving without him. The emotional connection was so strong from the instant they brought him in the room. The feeling you get when you meet someone new and feel like you have known that person all your life was the same feeling we got with Blaze. He followed my husband around the room and wouldn’t leave his side. He had some bad habits and was a little overweight (things that may have dissuaded others from adopting him), but the bond that already formed between us was strong and we brought him home the same day.

    I tend to joke that I love my dog because I know he’ll never ask me for money, want to borrow the car, and I never have to worry about him getting in with the "wrong crowd." The real reason I love my dog is because no matter what is going on in his life, he always stays right by me with unconditional love. He doesn’t ignore me or get snippy with me because he didn’t catch the rabbit he was chasing outside. He still greets me with a wag of his tail and his doggy kisses. When’s the last time one of your friends or relatives got so excited to see you that they ran around in circles, barked, or even peed themselves?

    Besides the love and companionship having a pet brings, there is also a very physical benefit to having a pet. Scientific studies have shown that spending time with a pet can reduce your stress level, lower blood pressure, and help your heart. Sharing your life with a pet is good for both your body and soul. We could all take a lesson from the unconditional love of our pets. Imagine the possibilities that sharing that type of love with one another would have on our world?

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    Paula Severson
    Paula Severson works for a trade association in Madison, Wisc., and is a level 2 Reiki Practioner. Copyright © 2006 Paula Severson. All rights reserved


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