Saturday, February 5, 2011

Relationships, Pets & People

Home Again February 2011 Newsletter

The greatest joys in life are simple. The wise know that true happiness comes in a squirmy, furry package with four legs and a tail. And just to be crystal clear here, we’re talking about having a pet. But having a pet (because no one really owns a pet, do they?) is just the beginning.

Forged over years of mutual care-taking, afternoon cuddles on the couch, and the simple passage of time, the human-animal relationship reminds us that, well…we’re human. Why exactly is sharing your life with an animal so affirming and rewarding? Let’s find out.

We’re so _________ together

Several bona fide scientific studies prove that people benefit from their pets in terms of health: stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, mental stimulation, etc. That’s fabulous rhetoric to get your office to endorse take-your-pet-to-work Fridays, but pet people know all that already, and that’s not really what seals the deal.

We asked our community members to tell us about the kind of relationship they have with their pets. Their responses reveal something very interesting:

Katie from KY, My dog is my heart dog. She does photo shoots, I blog about her, she travels everywhere with me...and I do mean everywhere. (The only exception is the grocery store.) Right now, I have the luxury of planning my life where I can take her everywhere and we can do so much!

Carrie from CA, My dog is my crazy, amazing, hilarious play buddy!

Michael from NY, I love my little dog. He’s my best friend and my constant companion through thick and thin. He’s always there for me, and I try to be there for him. I try never to take him for granted.

Even though the types of relationships described are as different as you and me, they all point to one thing: Pets know how to bring out the very best in their human companions. Think about it. When was the last time Fido skipped a brisk walk or Fluffy told you to splurge on that second bowl of ice cream? Never. Fido and Fluffy are too busy drawing out that deeply caring and nurturing side of you by willingly offering their care and affection—all the time.

When you get right down to it, pets and people are just anything and everything they want to be, together. We bring out the best in each other, and the possibilities for happiness are endless.

Huggin’ it out, everyday

We wouldn’t be doing pet relationships justice if we didn’t focus on one of the most indisputably rewarding parts: physical affection. No matter how it’s served—hugs, kisses, cuddles, or snuggles—receiving a very special just-for-you dose of daily affection keeps us feeling light, young, and warm all over. It’s pretty mushy stuff, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t live for it.

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