Cautionary Pet Therapy Advice

I’ve known for years, even before being diagnosed with MS, that pets are good for you. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from any pet allergies which would make animal ownership ill advised.

To reinforce my belief, I consulted with my alternative medicine reference book, and sure enough, it corroborated this fact. It even mentioned the longstanding belief in it as noted by eighteenth century nurse Florence Nightingale who wrote: “A small pet animal is often an excellent companion for the sick…” Note she said small animal.

When I was a lot feistier than I am now, I had a dog, a huge Labrador-Shepherd mix. Ubu topped off at about 95 pounds and was forever on a diet to reduce his weight. His soulful brown eyes made it nearly impossible not to give him treats whenever he looked my way. His size, and poor training on my part, made it routine that he dragged me from pillar to post when we went out for a walk. Shenanigans like that would never work today. A stiff breeze would have the potential of knocking me over.

I have two cats residing with us now. These fellows are much easier to take care of. My only bad training with them involves letting them jump onto the table where I can more easily pet them. This, I feel, isn’t so bad, until I have company and then I am aware of the problem non-cat lovers have with it. I justify this questionable practice with the fact that more and more medical settings are allowing animals in. They’ve seen the therapeutic value of the animals’ effect on patients.

The only problem I can see with pet ownership is their unconditional love  for us. This love could easily supersede human love. It’s not surprising to read where people (mostly single women) end up living with loads of cats and being featured on the evening news having them forcibly removed. I don’t think this could happen to me because I don’t live alone and my husband would stop any more cat multiplication. Still, there is an attraction to being around living things who think you are wonderful, wiser than Solomon, and who’ll always silently agree with everything you say. Danger…danger…because who wouldn’t love that?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Cautionary Pet Therapy Advice | Spreading Smiles With Dogs That Heal

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