Pet Therapy: Turning to Pets for Healing

In a World Gone Mad, You Can Still Trust Your Pets to Want Food and Attention In a new world of terrorism and fear, events such as 9/11 or city bombings can affect people worldwide. We all have different ways of dealing with the fear and anger that this arouses. My way is not recommended by most professionals: I sit home alone and watch the news reports on television for hours on end. Since I work from home, I have little need to leave the house and interact with other people, and therefore isolate myself. My husband works during the day, and so I spent hours alone with my thoughts. Like many people, I question my safety. I wonder what our nation,and the world, should do now. I mourn the fragility of life, and wonder who can be trusted. So much will change, and has changed, because of tragedies worldwide. However, I am quickly reminded just whom I can trust, and of things that have not suddenly changed: my pets don't care about what happened on 9/11 or in Lebanon, and demand that they be fed and played with on their regular schedule. I'm reminded again of how much we depend on these animals who share our homes. No matter what else changes in life, they remain constant. They want attention and food, and remind us with meows and pointed looks that life must go on, and their needs be met. Pets have no political or geographical agendas. My dogs simply want another snuggle, another toss of the ball, maybe even a treat if they can get it. My iguana wants a scratch on the head and his dinner served at the same time every day. My guinea pigs want a piece of the orange I'm eating. My cats want to sit on my lap. My frog wants some of the baby crickets that hatched in the tarantula's tank, and my tarantula wants peace to build a new home in the clean tank I moved her to. Our pets don't understand why we are sad. They love us, and they want us to fuss over them as usual. They want to hear our voices, to solicit belly rubs, and for us to follow our usual routine. At a time when we feel violated, they can be trusted. They provide comfort, unconditional love, and won't let us forget that life goes on. We can all be healed by our pets. I trust that yours have provided you the comfort that mine have provided me. In sad times like these, which remind us of the value of human life, let's all remember our non-human companions, and be thankful for them.