Many animal-lovers imagine 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 called Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, egotistical shetland sheepdog who exuded bravado and bravery. Yet, underneath everything there is, he struggled with the dog version of impostor disorder. Biff was a bag of disguised anxiety. He was like the kid in institution who says he has envision all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where creepy movies are played; the kid who has ” a girlfriend at another school “. It was that fragile slope I especially cherished about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an danger that neither of us had the cognitive abilities to put into terms. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he grew older, grumpier and more infirm.
He was an exceptionally licky dog, and loved 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 nighttimes, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked mitts and wrists to his heart’s content. For me, the perception was tickly and appeasing, and never once disgusting, although there is those around me told me it was not a good idea, chiefly because it was highly likely that, on any established daytime, Biff had fasten his snout into some poor fox’s rotting cadaver. I didn’t care. I washed my hands like a surgeon subsequentlies, certainly. But it was what Biff wanted.
I haven’t had a dog since Biff( I’m practically 40 ), and my family and I are deciding whether it’s time to get our own pup. This feels like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a bird-dog is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flit anxiously in the quarry of my gut. Will having a pet truly build us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet always oblige us better people?