Many animal-lovers consider a “cat-o-nine-tail” or dog 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, egotistical shetland sheepdog who oozed bravado and fearlessnes. Yet, underneath it all, he contended with the dog version of hypocrite syndrome. Biff was a bag of masked anxiety. He was like the minor in institution who says he has ensure all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where unnerving movies are played; the kid who has ” a girlfriend at another institution “. It was that fragile area I specially desired about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an anxiety that neither of us had the cognitive knowledge to put into words. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he developed older, grumpier and more infirm.
He was an exceptionally licky dog, and cherished 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 nights, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked mitts and wrists to his heart’s content. For me, the superstar was tickly and soothing, and never formerly outraging, even though those around me told me it was not a good impression, principally because it was highly likely that, on any given date, Biff had fixed his beak into some poor fox’s decompose cadaver. I didn’t care. I laundered my hands like a surgeon afterwards, obviously. 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 dog. This may seem like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a hound is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flit uneasily in the quarry of my gut. Will having a pet genuinely realise us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet ever obligate us better people?
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