Many animal-lovers envisage a feline or puppy can help you live a longer, happier, healthier life. But does the social sciences back them up?
My childhood dog was announced Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, egotistical shetland sheepdog who oozed bravado and courage. Yet, underneath it all, he struggled with the dog version of phony disorder. Biff was a bag of masked insecurity. He was like the kid in school who says he has understand all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where spooky movies are played; the kid who has ” a girlfriend at another institution “. It was that fragile surface I specially cherished about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an anxiety that neither of us had the cognitive knowledge to put into paroles. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he flourished older, grumpier and more infirm.
He was an exceptionally licky dog, and desired nothing more than slurping his tongue over our jeans, shoes, socks and coats. Officially, this behaviour was something we attempted to quash- but, every few darkness, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked sides and wrists to his heart’s content. For me, the hotshot was tickly and mollifying, and never once outraging, even if they are those around me told me it was not a good notion, principally because it was highly likely that, on any demonstrated daytime, Biff had deposit his beak into some poor fox’s decompose corpse. I didn’t care. I washed my hands like a surgeon afterwards, 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 puppy. This feels like a very big decision. Duty of the reason we want a dog is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flit anxiously in the cavity of my belly. Will having a pet really move us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet ever acquire us better parties?