Why dogs are therapeutic?
My motivation to write this article comes from the Cocker Spaniel we brought home this year just before the second wave hit India. My sister and I got the 1-month old pup as a gift for our mom’s 50th birthday. We decided to call him “Bailey” since the only spirit my mom likes is the chocolate liqueur, Baileys. Also, he has a golden brownish color fitting to his name.
The most fascinating thing about puppies is their rapid growth. I saw a change in Bailey every morning for the first 4 months. One day his ears became longer, the other day his tongue starts hanging out from his mouth.
Like hoomans, he also needs to take vaccination doses, at least five over the first few months. This one’s a social freak — in a short span of time, he has more visitors than anyone else in my family. Everyday, we see an equally cute pup tagging along with him. He also loves car drives, cutting (gobbling) monthly birthday cakes, going out to cafes and getting a portrait made of himself.
It is not a sweet package always — his poop, his wee-wee, the unconquerable barking, and the frequent sickness comes along with their cuddable fur. But it’s always about the pros outweighing the cons. The closest substitute to owning a dog is a little “hooman” baby. There are days, when I am buying dog food, I feel like I am buying food for myself. Sometimes, I just spend 15 minutes staring at his big ears, trying to understand what he might be thinking. It is like my daily dose of meditation I do by seeing Bailey in his own world, happy, content and untroubled.
Scientifically, pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, have lower blood pressure, and have elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine. They are gifted with these therapeutic effects since dogs fulfill the basic need for touch.
This mom can hardly retain her tears of joy as her 5-year-old boy with autism snuggling in for cuddles with his new friend, Tornado the Service Dog.
The boy has difficulties with touching, relationships and playing outside his family.
Dogs really are a person’s best friend. Sharing this soul touching story, as found online, so others may learn that a dog can help an autistic person live a better life
They make you fit — some people will try to label it under “it takes a lot of effort” and push it in the section below (negative aspects) but let’s try to be optimistic about the calories burned by running behind them.
They have the power to be loved by someone. I still remember my parents / grandparents being against the idea of getting a dog home for over 20 years. They were upset when we ended up getting Bailey either way. This is how happy we are with him today -
- The first few months are tough when the dog is untrained and tends to pee and poop all over the place
- Dogs can feed on anything possible. From furnitures to slippers, everything gets scraped by these little monsters
- A very big misconception what people have is that they bite all the time. But no one understands that they will only bite if they are agitated and you play a role in it
- Raising a dog can be expensive. There are a ton of doctor visits and all their stuff is also sold at a premium price. Something like a “pink tax” — in this case, I’d like to call it a “CUTE fee”
Overall, dogs are the best because unlike people, they love you unconditionally. My favourite part about them is that they greet you as if you have gone away for decades but you just went out to collect grocery. Oh boy, getting a dog home has been one of the best decisions of my life. He was the baby we didn’t ask for, but now we can’t live without him. The attachment is real.
This post is just not about Bailey but all the dogs / pets in general. Recently, I visited Goa and saw a dog or a cat in almost every cafe. They just made the ambience of every location better. Most of them were adopted by the restaurant owners and used to feed on the leftovers of the customers. They are still better off than the ones who sleep on the streets daily, with no hope of getting at least 1 meal per day and with a high probability of being run over. I would urge everyone to treat animals as they treat humans — they can’t talk but they do have the same issues as we do :)
PS: I wish iPhone had a face recognition for dogs and I could see all his pics under “People & Pages” section. But you can see all his pictures @baileywagstailey on Instagram.