By: Amber Kingsley
Our continuous love affair with our loyal, constant companions has existed since we’ve drawn images of them alongside us during prehistoric times. Pictured beside us on ancient cave drawings and in paintings, they’ve been seen hunting with us, herding livestock and laying beside us since before the concept of written words.
They’ve followed us throughout time, found periodically in literature and later in modern media. They even star in major motion pictures. For example, some of the most well-known dogs in cinema are Toto from The Wizard of Oz and then our beloved Benji. Both of these lovable mutts have given us their undying loyalty on screen, which is especially indicative of this particular breed.
But what about larger dogs, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Lady and the Tramp? More recently we’ve shared adventures with Air Bud, Beethoven, Bolt, and Marley. As humans, we’ve loved our companion animals, and not just dogs but our cats too. We even worship them as gods in many different cultures. Today we enjoy the likes of Grumpy Cat, Garfield, Morris and other indifferent felines that still somehow manage to tickle our fancy. Why do we and should we love them so much?
Here are the top ten reasons why these pets deserve our undying love and affection:
#1 – TIME
Pets have no concept of time whatsoever. That’s why five minutes away from them can seem like five hours, days or even weeks. Which is also why they’re so overjoyed to see us no matter how long we’ve been gone.
#2 – DISTANCE
In the real world, thousands of examples show how animals have crossed unbelievable distances to be reunited with their master. They have an uncanny ability to track us down to an extent that science simply can’t explain.
#3 – HEALTH
Speaking of science, there have been countless studies and research projects performed to show how companion animals lower our blood pressure, reduce stress and lengthen our lives, simply by having them near us.
#4 – PURPOSE
For those of us who may have health problems, including depression and those entering the twilight years, having a pet can give these people a purpose.
#5 – FITNESS
Dogs and cats both give us a reason to exercise while playing with them. Walking and interacting with our critters gives us a way to get us more mobile and stay fit ourselves within this process.
#6 – RESPONSIBILITY
Many parents will afford their children a pet in order to teach them the responsibility of animal ownership. The care that comes with feeding and cleaning up after them is a valuable teaching opportunity for many youngsters.
#7 – EDUCATION
When it comes to educating young people, pets often teach them about the “circle of life”. The birth, development, training and eventual loss of a pet is a valuable lesson for anyone growing up.
#8 – BOND
There’s also that unbreakable bond that exists with owning a pet. Whether it’s as simple as having that “little shadow” follow you around throughout your life or when animal sleeps on their master’s grave after their passing, this type of connection is immeasurable. Think about the legend and truth behind Greyfriars Bobby.
#9 – PRESENCE
Sometimes, we just need someone or something to be there. That four-legged friend brings us comfort when they lie beside us during difficult times.
#10 – MONEY / INVESTMENT
Even though we spend an estimated $62 billion dollars a year caring for our animals in the United States alone, when it comes to their companionship and undying loyalty, this type of love is simply priceless.