Resilience – A surprising boost with animal bonding

I have a confession to make… I’m not an animal lover but something weird happened recently and I realised it could help with my resilience.

I hasten to add, I‘m not an animal hater, far from it. If I find a spider in the house I’ll gently catch it and take it outside. Even if a rogue fly annoyingly zooms around a room I’m in, I’ll open the biggest window available and encourage the fly to leave.

Animals, in particular dogs, are certainly not afraid of me and they also know I’m not going to make a fuss of them either. We seem to have an unspoken understanding and can happily co-exist.

But all that changed when I met my friend’s new family addition, Tammy.

If there’s such a thing as love at first sight with a canine then it happened the moment we met. She ran over to me and immediately rolled over on her back for a belly rub and… I gladly rubbed it.

That’s Tammy in the main image of this blog taken on a shopping spree with her ‘mum’.

Don’t panic, the shower gel and Listerine are for her mum. Although frankly I have on occasion been very tempted to give Tammy some mouth wash 😊

I’ve dog sat a few times now and love it. I’m amazed how doting on a dog can raise your spirits. It’s also amazing how you feel when an animal shows unconditional affection in return.

I’ve never owned a pet and have no intention to do so. It’s a big commitment and my lifestyle means I wouldn’t be able to look after it properly. My view is, not looking after a pet properly is being cruel.

Having said that, I believe I’ve found the pet equivalent of babysitting the grandchildren. It’s great in short bursts.

There’s no doubt when Tammy’s around, how being in the moment, doting on her and sharing joy with her is a boost to my resilience as worries are momentarily forgotten.

I even have conversations with her and she’s’ a brilliant listener. It’s incredible how many issues I’ve found solutions to. She really does make a great sounding board.

I did some research online and found some studies that show the social and emotional support a pet gives you helps reduce stress, promote resilience, and can even help people recover from adverse circumstances.

It’s been proven the simple act of petting an animal reduces anxiety and improves well-being.

If you don’t own a pet/dog I’m not suggesting for one moment you get one but do consider dog sitting for a friend once in a while and see how you feel.

You just might surprise yourself.

By the way on a recent shopping trip I found that dog food has gone up £1, which is appalling because that’s equivalent to £7 in dog money? 😀

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