Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pet Therapy: Get well soon with pets -

In Observance of World Animal Day, October 4, feast day of  St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.
Dr. Abe V. Rotor

 Anna with Bunny

More than the pleasant company they give, and sometimes the risk they take in giving us security, pets share our pain. They even get sick when we do. Our fever and aches seem to be relieved as they lie close to us. They help dry our tears, soothe our nerves, and break the monotony of our surroundings.

  In our period of anxiety, when our body and spirit sag under the weight of modern living, we seek refuge to something we find comfort – and if needed - a meaning to life. We seek for answers to many whys we only ask when we are down.

Good books, programs and music provide us recourse all right. They teach, inspire, and challenge us. Yes, we reflect, we meditate; we bridge the self, the being with the omnipotence. We search for the past, bringing out the hidden guilt into catharsis, and the pleasant into renewed reminiscences. At the end we are left asking for more. It is not a deliberate demand for more. It is the opposite. It is a need for nothing but silence, something that silences our probing mind, our throbbing heart, and our tense muscles.

Let us learn from pets. Their reactions are pure and simple. Their message needs no words as a writer once exclaimed, “What words can describe the feeling of a cat purring on your lap, a puppy lapping your face, a goldfish popping bubbles of air and glistening in the prism of sunlight?”

When finally we reach home to rest on doctor’s advice, we soon find ourselves facing boredom. Boredom is when we cannot do the things we want to do. The incapacity to do things because of our poor state no longer challenges us. While we can still plan out things we often loom at the edge of uncertainty and fear, something we may not have experienced before. To many of us the feeling is retreat, and we do not know when we will even resume our normal lives again.

No one is spared of these moments in his or her lives. And the more aggressive we are the deeper is the wound, and the longer it takes time to heal. It takes more intelligence to be aggressive which has various facets, such as being enterprising, risk taking, adventurous, pioneering, and courageous. These take us into the horizons ordinary people dare not tread. It is said that in our moments of glory we strive for more, yet in our moments of defeat we find ourselves in the deepest recesses where hope like sunlight in the deep is dim. “You are alone at your lowest ebb,” I once wrote.

Pets help patients conquer depression, a condition that may lead to nervous breakdown, neurosis and even suicide. Millions all over the world, especially in industrialized nations fall victim to this modern day disease. Many become unwilling victims of drugs. Many lives are ruined if not treated early or on time.

Here are some benefits of pet therapy based on medical research.

• Reduces stress-induced symptoms.
• Petting a dog can lower blood pressure. So with watching an aquarium of tropical fish.
• Boost peoples' moods and enhance their social interaction.
• Requires less medical care
• Adds years to your life
• Increases survival rate among patients

Pets compensate for the lack of feeling and concern in modern day living. They heal the wounds of broken relationships. They fill up the vacuum of absence. They buoy the sagging spirit; they accept us when we are rejected. They give the human touch to high tech and specialized medicine. Everybody seems busy doing his thing. After a hard day’s work, a dog wagging its tail meets us at the gate, begging to be touched, revealing unashamedly how much it had missed us. A pat and some fast food leftovers may be all we can give, but our pet soon settles down as if it has all the contentment in this world. It is because it has found our company again. Indeed pets provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and affection.

Author and Nikko, a Dobberman

Says a survivor of a heart attack undergoing pet therapy, "Stroking a dog, watching a kitten tumble, or observing the hypnotic explorations of fish can be an antidote to unpleasant thoughts and feelings. It makes the day bright."

Pets expand our focus beyond ourselves, helping us feel interconnected with creation. ~

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