by ALISON LEVIER Photographer/Videographer
Pets are a part of the family. They are there when our boyfriends break up with us and we just need to snuggle and watch Netflix. They are there when we have just gotten good news and want to dance around in our underwear. They are there waiting for us to come back when we just need to get out of the house for a while.
My nine-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever, Buddy, died on Sunday, and I write this article from a place of current experience and thoughts, not as an expert on anything (obviously) or the poster child for going out and buying a pet.
The connection that humans can have with their pets is truly amazing, and not something that can be replicated or fathomed in any way other than experience.
Buddy was an important part of our lives. He was big, goofy, and put a smile on everyone’s face daily. It was incredible how much he could lift the mood in a room just by simply wagging his tail and begging to play fetch.
A pet can provide emotional nourishment to its owner. So much so, in fact, that on average, people with pets are less likely to be depressed than those without pets, and having a pet may improve blood pressure in stressful situations.
“I love my cats. It’s like they can sense when I am upset because they just sit with me and seem to know that I need them. It’s the strangest thing,” says senior Liz Marchese.
I don’t know what it is about having a pet, but it just gives you a sense of security and constant affection. Animals do not care how much money you have or how pretty you are, they just love you if you love them back.
“Having a pet is one of the best things to happen to me. My cat and dog are always there for me, and it’s just amazing how happy they make me. I can’t imagine not having them there when I’m home alone or upset, because having them there just makes me feel like I’m not alone” says senior Anne Ballman.
My personal favorite thing about my dog is how happy he seems to be when I come home from school or even just from having been outside of the house for a couple of hours. It is so clear how much we mean to our animals every day and, though we do not realize it, they mean the same to us.
It is easy to take your pet for granted, as it cannot speak and command attention the way humans can, but it is so vital to cherish and appreciate every moment spent with a loving pet so you do not take that time for granted. I did not realize how happy my dog made me until he was gone and unable to fill that void that I did not even know existed.
I truly believe that pets are crucial to our mental, emotional, and sometimes physical health, and I know that my dog Buddy had a huge impact on my life. RIP.
Do you feel the same about your pets? Let us know in the comments below!