Man’s Best Friend– Pets Bring Joy to Our Lives
Why We’re Grateful for Our Pets
I asked our nurses to contribute to the blog you are reading today. My question for them was this, “What makes you grateful for your pets?” I believe Andrea put it best when she simply said of her dog, Mongo, “He’s just so damn awesome.” I think that simple sentence sums it up for most of us. The pets in our lives give us so much, they make our lives simply “awesome.” In reality, life as we know it would be vastly different if not for the relationships humans have forged with animals throughout history.
Man’s Best Friend– And Helper
There is evidence to support domestication of dogs occurring nearly 150,000 years ago. Early dogs probably helped their owners hunt and offered protection from wild animals and rival tribes. At some point, as every dog owner knows, humans and dogs began to evolve an exceptionally intimate relationship, and even began to be known as “man’s best friend.” They became our companions, friends, and members of the family. Dogs also became useful in unique ways, helping to care for us and provide services we were unable to provide for ourselves. The earliest known example of a dog guiding a blind human dates back to the first century AD, in the buried ruins of a wall mural in the Roman city of Herculaneum. Dogs are used to detect seizures in their human partners, help people cope with PTSD, open the refrigerator for physically limited partners, and the list goes on. Our nurse Val remembers her dear Labrador, Mumbo, “He had such a wonderful attitude and would attack the day with happiness. When he knew I was becoming anxious or needed comfort he would lie at my feet. It was calming and I was grateful for his presence.”
Kinship with Cats
Cats have come to play significant roles in the lives of their humans just as dogs have. A running joke among cat fanciers is that cats expect to be worshipped. Of course, the reason for this being cats were worshipped in ancient Egypt. Cats were considered sacred, fed treats fit for royalty, and even mummified after death. They were considered a magical species that could bring luck to a household. Dr. McCabe considers her family lucky to have her rescued barn cat, Goudy Poody. “He is very friendly, and house guests can’t believe he was a stray barn cat. His gritty determination allowed him to become friends with our sweet old dog. He is so funny, and we love him!” Although cats are not as “helpful” to us as dogs, anyone who has loved a cat knows just sharing their kinship is more than enough.
Big Love for Horses
Also at LVC, Loraine, Kimmy, Jessica, Laura and I absolutely love horses. I simply cannot write a tribute blog and not include comments about the contribution horses have made to the advancement of humankind. New genetic studies suggest horses were domesticated approximately 6,000 years ago on the grasslands of Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan. They were used as beasts of burden for riding and pulling, but also as a source of meat and milk. In fact, up to the present day, nomadic Mongolian horse tribes etch out an existence on the Mongolian steppes, utilizing horses for nearly all of their daily needs. Imagine conquering the Wild West or building the Roman Empire without horsepower, it would have simply been impossible.
I personally keep four horses on my farm. I owe my sanity to my horses, especially my Thoroughbred, Ransom, rescued as a foal. He has been with me for 18 years, and is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Dr. Siegfried shares my sentiment and recently expressed to me, “My horses have carried me through some of the darkest days of my life; and I will spend the rest of theirs trying to pay them back.” Nurse, Loraine, and her husband, Larry, loved their horses, Chance and George, so much they included them in their wedding ceremony. They simply could not imagine that special day without them.
Thankful for the Happiness Our Pets Bring Us
This Thanksgiving, try to take time to reflect upon not only your human relationships, but those you share with your four legged friends. At Longwood Veterinary Center we know how grateful you are for the pets in your lives. This is one of the many reasons we try so hard to help you keep them happy and healthy; they are family after all. Our nurse, Jamie, says it best when she tells of the reaction she has every time her little kitten, Josie, greets her at the door. “There’s no better feeling than knowing she is just as happy to see me as I am to see her.”
-With love and best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season, from Longwood Veterinary Center.