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Pets and Happiness

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last week while i was working my husband sent me multiple pictures of our animals (dog and cat) snuggling together. not only were they possibly the cutest pictures i had ever seen, but they filled me with an overwhelming sense of happiness, love and joy. while i have had cats my whole life growing up, burton was the very first pet that i owned on my own. i picked him out (or i like to say saved him because he was a stray), chose his name, and the responsibility of his care fell solely on me. i instantly became obsessed with him and my love for him continues to pour over. he is always there when i need him most and has become a very important part of my family and my life. he and i share a very special bond.

i would consider myself a cat person. aside from my grandma or neighbor’s having dogs, i wasn’t around them very much. in fact, when i was younger i was scared of dogs (i had gotten bit when i was little and it left me hesitant and skeptical). as i got older the fear subsided and i very much liked dogs, but didn’t know if being a dog owner would ever be part of my title. fast forward to may 2014. we welcomed our puppy nash into our home. a yellow lab mix saved from a rescue; he has become a significant part of our family. i tell kyle all the time, i never knew how much i could love a dog until we brought nash home. while naughty at times, that little dog of ours has me wrapped around all four of his paws. there really is nothing like coming home to a waiting dog who is so happy and anxious to see you. little nash’s whole body wiggles with joy, tail wagging as he licks your face to greet you; this happens every time we come home. my animals have definitely made my life better, happier and more fulfilled.

i read a few articles this weekend on pets and happiness and studies show that pets can serve to improve their owners’ happiness, well-being and physical health. pets provide meaningful relationships and social support to their owners that can improve their lives (psychology today).

“there is an inexplicable tug of our hearts towards the creatures with whom we share our lives, a primal need to interact with them and love them. what they give to us is something that is precious and rare. they love us without reservation, they trust us implicitly, they accept us as we are, warts and all. what a perfect definition of unconditional love” (huffington post).

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if you are a pet owner give your guy or gal an extra hug today, if not consider how fulfilled your life could be by adding a furry little friend.

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