Many animal-lovers conclude a cat or hound can help you live a longer, happier, healthier life. But does the social sciences back them up?
My childhood dog was called Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, cocky shetland sheepdog who gushed bravado and gallantry. Yet, underneath everything is, he struggled with the dog version of phony syndrome. Biff was a bag of masked insecurity. He was like the child in school who says he has discover all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where unnerving movies are played; the teenager who has ” a girlfriend at another institution “. It was that fragile side I specially affection about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an insecurity that neither of us had the cognitive knowledge to put into messages. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he grew older, grumpier and more infirm.
He was an exceptionally licky dog, and enjoyed good-for-nothing more than slurping his tongue over our jeans, shoes, socks and coatings. Officially, this behaviour was something we attempted to quash- but, every few nighttimes, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked handwritings and wrists to his heart’s material. For me, the whiz was tickly and appeasing, and never once outraging, even though those around me told me it was not a good sentiment, principally because it was highly likely that, on any held daytime, Biff had remain his beak into some poor fox’s decompose corpse. I didn’t care. I bathed my hands like a surgeon subsequentlies, clearly. But it was what Biff wanted.
I haven’t had a dog since Biff( I’m nearly 40 ), and my family and I are deciding whether it’s time to get our own hound. This may seem like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a pup is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flit anxiously in the pit of my stomach. Will having a pet really represent us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet always manufacture us better people?