I Think Pets are Good for Us
Especially as We Age
Guest Author: Sally Bartlett
Pets are wonderful to have at any age, from toddlers up to senior citizens and I cannot imagine life without one. When I was a little girl, my parents told me we had 2 sheep and a cat named “Inky, Pinky and Stinky!” I of course, do not remember them, but from about the age of 4 on, I have some wonderful memories.
We had mostly cats, with a few dogs thrown in and back then, (1940s and 1950s) most pets were outside pets and therefore did not live as long as our carefully tended and loved indoor animals today. I learned the heartbreak of losing pets early also. Most of my pets died by outdoor accidents or sickness picked up from living outside.
I especially think pets are good for us older folks. When I lost a 12 year old dog and a 17 year old cat within months of each other in 2003, I swore I would not subject myself to that heartache again. Especially my cat who died of old age, literally in my arms. My dog was sick and I had her euthanized to put her out of pain, but my cat died so gracefully it broke my hear.
However, in 2004 I adopted a rescue kitten and in 2010 another one. I am now a retired lady with cats aged 11 and 6 and they are my best friends. I talk to them all the time, therefore do not seem alone; my blood pressure is starting to climb a little and the calming activity of stroking a pet’s body has been said to help lower it. I have made friends with other older people with pets and we all take care of each others animals when we have the good fortune to take a vacation.
There are other health benefits of pets according to this article in petsaww.com, including giving us a reason to get up each morning. Not only do they help us stay fit and healthy, but are great mood lifters.
I also get quite a charge out of feeding the neighborhood birds each day, and am lucky enough to live in Arizona, the only state in the US that has feral love birds. I cater to the little peach-faced cuties like they are my indoor personal pets, including talking to them through the window. Needless to say my kitties love to watch them too.
“I Think Pets are Good for Us, Especially as We Age” was written by Guest Author: Sally Bartlett
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