Sometimes I sit back and think; “We don’t deserve animals!”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with animals around me. Even as a child, I recall having a bad day at school and planting my tear stained face into the neck of our golden retriever, Sonny (before he got old and grumpy). Our Black Labrador, Spike, was more of the ditsy comedian and could always be relied on to make you smile, but gosh, did he love everyone he met, unconditionally and enthusiastically. But Sonny was different, in the way he intuitively knew when something was wrong. I remember, Sonny always disliked one particular neighbour of ours and would bark every single time he saw him. Until that is, our neighbour suffered a Stroke. The next time he came round once he had recovered, Sonny sat by his side the whole time he was there.
I work with veterans with mental health difficulties and am a keen advocate for emotional support dogs, particularly for people living with PTSD. I have been fortunate enough to see the impact that dogs can have on improving quality of life, confidence and independence. Equine therapy is also proven to be very effective, particularly with people living with Physical and Mental Disability. My guinea pigs have done wonders for my Anxiety, providing me with tactile, sensory focus and sometimes a welcome distraction from negative ruminations. And I’m sure ‘non- furry’ pets are just as capable of having the same effect!
Be it, my mother in law’s new pug/ beagle (Peagle?!) puppy, Scout; my sister’s Malamute, Shay; my two guinea pigs, Freckle & Pickle; the fish in our tank; the horses we pass on our long country walks; the buzzards so effortlessly gliding outside… In my opinion, all animals are so therapeutic, good for mind, body and soul. I just wish all people showed animals the love they show us.