Animals as Destressors

August 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

When I pet Neytiri’s silky smooth coat, feelings of love and contentment fill my being.  Her gentle purr makes me feel at peace and I often wish that I could bottle up that experience to use in times of stress.

What is it about animals that enable us humans to be so at peace?  My experience is not an uncommon phenomenon.  Many fellow pet owners describe how calming the sight of their beloved dog, cat, mouse, etc. can be.

I suspect that it has to do with unconditional love….but not in the direction one would assume.  I, for one, do not think my cat Neytiri loves me unconditionally.  I think she appreciates that I feed her and finds me entertaining when I wave around a feather…but besides that, I don’t think she harbors any all consuming love for me.  Me, on the other hand….I’m a goner.  When I see Navi and Neytiri’s tiny little faces, my heart simply melts.

If you think about it, people generally do not unconditionally love other humans.  Relationships are defined by countless conditions that determine the level of affection another person deserves.  Even children are subject to conditions.  The ability to communicate with words, through language, makes us more sophisticated in terms of what thoughts we can express, but not actually more empathetic.

So…where’s your pet?

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