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The Healing Touch of Paws and Claws

Posted: January 3, 2020

“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.” – John Grogan, Marley & Me

I suppose we can say the above about any animal. If you have ever been lucky to own a pet or interact with the same animal more than once, you would know that the only thing they crave is love and maybe a few belly rubs or gentle strokes at times. And even though we are the one giving the rubs, it’s often us who are getting healed.

This is not a piece to convince or preach the idea of loving animals. This is my observation of the effects animals have on the overall well being of an individual.

From Props to Companions

Humans have had a long-standing relationship with animals, especially the ones we could domesticate. From being just a property to aid us in our daily lives to present day as our companions, we have come a long way. Surely, we treat some animals more lovingly than others.

As a species, we still have a very long way to go before we understand our position in the greater scheme of things of this planet and humbly accept that without creating more chaos. We knew how to co-exist with other species in the long-gone eras while at the same time knew how to outsmart them when needed. But with the spread of western idea of modernization, we lost our touch with the nature and forgot how to co-exist with it.

There is a silver lining though. There is a collective consciousness rising among us, making us more empathetic towards animals, especially the ones we share spaces with, like the strays and pets. And with a steep increase in individuals adopting and welcoming animals into their homes, we are surely moving towards a more harmonious space. And even though there are many among us who take pleasure in hurting animals, the optimist in me still likes to believe that our number (animal lovers) is far greater than the wretched ones who like to inflict pain.

Healing Through Caring

Animals, the ones we grew up with, the ones we have now, all have been integral parts of our journey. Each of them have filled our lives with so much happiness, touched our souls in ways that changed us forever.

Sometimes, when it feels like a burden to be and act like a ‘human’, an animal can often teach us how to be better versions of ourselves in such situations. On our bad days when we are struggling to get out of bed, our pets can help us find purpose. On those days we might just get out of bed to feed them and in doing so we might feed ourselves. Some days that is all the motivation we need to make it through and that’s enough.

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Teaching Us to Chill

Here’s a truth bomb. Nobody is going to be as chilled out a partner as our pets. To me, the highest level of chill is personified by ‘The Dude’ (In case you don’t know who that is, stop reading and go watch The Big Lebowski and continue afterwards). The other beings who come close to being that chilled out in life are my cats and dog.

The days where I am struggling to stop myself from pulling out all my hairs, I always take a moment to look at my cats chilling out in group. And if I fail to control the turmoil of my day, then often I just give up and join the gang to chill with them.

Because sometimes, self-preservation is more important than damage control especially when things are out of our control.

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Happiness is Just Around the Corner

We go long and far to find everyday happiness. In my limited experience in life, I have found it in odd places many times like on the roadside when I spot a cute puppy or a friendly kitten on the hood of a parked car. And just by taking out ten minutes from my day and investing on them completely turns my day around.

These tiny pockets of bliss in my daily lives is all I seek, and it’s definitely worth a try.

Feeding a hungry stray, patting a pet on walk, or playing with our neighborhood puppies can completely change our entire day and sometimes even attitude towards everything.

Life is short we say, but for most animals it’s even shorter and maybe that’s why they possess the wisdom that it takes a lifetime for us to learn. And it’s time we let them give some to us.

A version of this was first published here.

In-article images via Pexels

Header Image via Pixabay

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