Fairfield County Edition

Celebrating Our Pets

Reciprocate Their Unconditional Love

The time is 10,000 BC and an elderly man is buried in Israel with his 4-month-old puppy. Fast forward to archeologists finding a pet cat alongside its owner on an outer island of Cyprus while excavating a burial site dated to 7,500 BC. Ancient tombs, paintings and text all express age-old human love for furred, feathered and scaled companions. Historical evidence demonstrates that whenever the origin of the domestication, people have loved their pets since our earliest beginnings.

Pets Bring Us So Much

According to research from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pets can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while also helping individuals combat loneliness. In addition, pets increase opportunities for exercise and socialization. In short, they make us healthier.

Pets are our companions, offering non-judgmental ears for listening and an open heart to love us unconditionally even when we may feel at our worst.

Some animals put their lives on the line to protect us. Military and police dogs protect their handlers as they protect us. These specially trained dogs sniff out bombs and illegal drugs. A family pet can ward off burglars or alert the family to a fire or other emergency. Search and rescue dogs find lost and injured people during accidents and disasters.

Service dogs help those with medical conditions live a fuller, longer life. Therapy dogs offer comfort to those struck by tragedy, as well as those in nursing homes and hospice. Emotional support pets enable their owners to lead a more normal life.

Farm dogs protect livestock from predators. Farm and barn cats keep the rodent population down, preventing plague and other serious outbreaks that result in human deaths. Some cities, including New York and Philadelphia, now have programs employing feral cats to control the rat populations.

The list of what animals do for humans goes on and on. It begs the question… what do we provide to them in return, aside from food?

How Can We Reciprocate?

Start with loving them. Spend time cuddling and include them in day-to-day activities. Bring them to work if it is allowed. If not, inquire about the possibility with management. Even if it can’t be done every day, an occasional visit will give your pet an exciting experience and involve them in your life away from home.

Feed pets an appropriate, high-quality diet. Hippocrates first noticed the correlation between food and health. Modern science is catching up to that concept in people as well as animals. There is no longer room for doubt; the better the quality of food, the healthier our pets will be.

Play with them. Go outside and take them on a hike; pack a lunch and make a day of it. If you can’t be home often enough due to a busy schedule, find someone who can stand in for you. Buy cats interactive toys, which stimulate their mental capacities and may improve behavioral issues attributed to boredom.

Prioritize their wellness. Yearly checkups with blood work drawn can show problems earlier. Early detection means early intervention and a greater likelihood of survival. Other wellness visits to therapists who provide Reiki and crystal healing, as well as massage and acupuncture will help keep their energetic system flowing unimpeded as well.

While we may think that we have chosen to have pets in our lives, it’s equally clear they grace us with theirs. Show appreciation to the pets in your life!

Mary Oquendo is a Reiki Master, advanced crystal master and certified master tech pet first aid instructor. She is the owner of Hands and Paws Reiki for All. She can be reached at HandsAndPawsReiki.com. See ad, page 52.

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