Animals As A Loyal Friends

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Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.There are many aspects to loyalty. Animals as pets have a large sense of loyalty to humans which may be more human-to-human loyalty. Famous cases include Greyfriars Bobby who attended his master’s grave for fourteen years; Hachiko, who returned to the place he used to meet his master every day for nine years after his death;and Foxie, the spaniel belonging to Charles Gough, who stayed by her dead master’s side for three months on Helvellyn in the Lake District in 1805 (the fact that Gough’s body was eaten by his dog was ignored in subsequent Romantic accounts of the story).

In the Mahabharata, the righteous King Yudhisthira, at the end of his life, appeared at the gates of Heaven. He had previously lost his brothers and his wife to death, and when he appeared at the gates his only remaining companion was a stray dog he had picked up along the way. The god Indra is prepared to admit him to Heaven, but refuses to admit the dog. Yudhistira refuses to abandon the dog, and prepares to turn away from the gates of Heaven. Then the dog is revealed to be the manifestation of Dharma, the god of righteousness and justice, and who turned out to be his deified self. Yudhistira enters heaven in the company of his dog, the god of righteousness.  Yudhistira is known by the epithet Dharmaputra, the lord of righteous duty.

These photos speak much louder than words can, & need none to say what they want to convey.

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Animals as Therapy

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Studies have been documented that petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients and that older people show improved alertness when caring for a pet. Pets often seem to be especially valuable for some people experiencing major life chances, such as illness or the loss of a loved one. Depressions can often be avoided. Pets also encourage their owner to be more physically active  by playing with them or taking them on a walk. Pets amuse us, make us laugh and improve our overall morale.Pet owners tend to remain more interested in events in their community and in their surroundings. They are not as lonely as perhaps they once were. They prevent or reduce absent-mindedness or bewilderment by communicating the sense of time and by maintaining a rhythm of the day. “forget oneself and ones problems” and to “live one’s free time in a meaningful and interesting way”.

Studies have indicated that pets reduce stress more than the presence of a good friend. Other research has demonstrated that pets enhance self-esteem  and decrease disturbed psychological functioning. Ory and Goldberg (1983) found that older persons who were strongly attached to their pets also reported being happier. Similarly, Garrity, Stallone, Marx, and Johnson (1989) found that older persons who reported a stronger attachment to their pets correlated with lower self-report of depression. Savishinsky (1985) found that pets triggered the memories of nursing home residents. When the visiting pets were present many residents talked about their childhood pets, reminisced about their childhood, and increased communication with other residents and their own family members. Residents from rural backgrounds often related their experiences with the farm animals.

In this story you can see life and love between old people and animals introduced through photos…

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Street People Love Their Pets

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These days we hear about more and more people leaving their pets behind as they leave their homes.  Some people will find reasons to leave an animal behind; relocation, financial issues, divorce, more responsibility for an older animal….and the list goes on.  For some, that is not an option.  They will lose everything but they will never leave their beloved pet behind.  The animal is the only thing that keeps them going in this crazy, unpredictable world.  It is called unconditional love and it’s an emotional bond of loyalty.  We all search for it when most of the time it is right in front of us, our pet.  The tragic part is that these pets don’t choose their owners.

When we see a homeless person sitting on the street, the sight breaks our hearts. What is even more heartbreaking is to see them and their pets, trying to live day-to-day.”Check out these photos of homeless people and their pets, and hopefully we will think more about the issues that around us every day, seen but not noticed.

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It is estimated, by the National Coalition for the Homeless, that 3.5 million people are homeless.  Between 5% to 10% of homeless people have dogs and/or cats. In some areas of the country the rate is as high as 24%.  Most people who experience homelessness are homeless for a short period of time, and usually need help finding housing or a rent subsidy.   Unfortunately for those with pets it becomes more difficult.  Many are forced to choose between their pet or a roof over their head.

Source

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Animal Friendships

Animal Friendships 1 300x225 Animal FriendshipsTime Magazine made me buy by putting an adorable photo of two dogs on the cover for a story called “The Surprising Science of Animal Friendships.” While it was an interesting read, the cover was a bait and switch since the article dealt primarily with animals in the wild, not domesticated pets. Plus the few mentions it made of dogs were to *dismiss* the notion of canine friendships!

“True animal friendship,” the article states, “is not about the neighborhood dogs’ playing and wrestling when their owners take them to the park any more than true human friendship is about the pickup soccer game a group of kids play in an adjacent field … Animal friendship is about enduring bonds defined by sharing, sacrificing, and when circumstances warrant it, grieving.” It goes on to state that while dogs do form friendship-type relationships with other dogs, scientists note a lack of evidence in dogs of the “constancy, reciprocity and mutual defense observed in species such as chimpanzees and dolphins.”

No such thing as true dog friendship? I don’t buy it.
According to the article, the three keys of the scientific definition of friendship are constancy, reciprocity and mutual defense. That’s a fairly limited definition of friendship, but since the article is based on the findings of several scientific studies and not anecdotal stories, the aspects of animal friendships need to quantifiable … you can count the number of times a chimp shares a meal or guards against a predator with a companion, but you can’t exactly enumerate a chimp’s love for his buddy. Additionally, the friendship traits in the studies are helpful in the wild and not as critical for domesticated pets, particularly “mutual defense”, which means we’re not exactly on a level playing field to judge the strength of wild animal friendships against pet friendships.

I’m not going to take a shot at defining friendship as rigidly as the scientists in the article, but just because we can’t affix measurable terminology to canine friendship doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I’ve seen many examples of dogs that seek out specific dog friends, dogs that share with their friends, frolic with them consistently and predictably, and if tragedy occurs, grieve those friends. I know that dog friendship exists beyond “amiable play,” and it’s as true and real as anything that’s happening out there in the jungle or ocean.
Do you agree? Or is dog friendship just wishful thinking on our part?

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