“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” -George Eliot
I’ll never forget the morning my Persian kitty Griela took her last breath. All night long, I thought about how she would take that final trip to the vet to be put into a deep sleep and I’d never see her again. I held her in my arms as she purred. She had no idea why I was in so much pain, and it probably felt strange to hear my sobbing rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.
This memory makes me contemplate the reason behind our deep love for animals. If you’re a pet lover you know how I feel, and I’d venture to say you’d do just about anything for your beloved. You often allow them to sleep in your bed, you rush them to the vet when they’re sick, and you perhaps go so far as to dress them in their own personal wardrobe. On even your darkest days, a simple lick, rub, or soulful look from your fur-baby can brighten your spirits. Pets have become so dear to us that they’re considered part of the family!
So, where did this “tail” of love begin? Martin Siegel, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, explored this in his observation that pets are completely dependent on us. He expressed that pets commonly trigger our nurturing instincts similar to the way our children do, which could explain why we babble baby-talk to our furry kids in bizarre voices. Even pet lovers who don’t have children feel an innate need to nurture that can be easily expressed through their animals. Aside from our natural instincts to nurture, we also derive comfort from them, which triggers our emotional need to be loved. And the wonderful thing about pets is that they love us unconditionally. Think about the last time you had a bad day and how your pet reacted by comforting you.
For hundreds of years, pets have served both our physical and emotional needs. Our capacity to bond with them and benefit from their presence is limitless. Pets are even used in therapy to aid psychological issues. We love our pets so much because they, in turn, love us beyond measure. We nurture them, enjoy their companionship, and laugh at the wacky things they do. We as humans are created to connect, and animals have the insatiable ability to tap into that need for connection.
Take the time today to show your pet some extra attention. They love you beyond measure, and they honor you regardless of your flaws or lack of paws!