Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Good morning and happy weekend. I want to talk about the importance of connection. With colder, darker days many people will find comfort in the company of their pets, especially when so many people are staying home this year. In a lot of ways, animals can fill loneliness in ways humans can't. They depend on you, provide hours of entertainment and love you unconditionally. As many of you may know, I have a pig named Pincus and she's adorable, but I think the greatest companion was my little pig Phebes. Phebes died a couple years ago and I miss the way she used to cuddle with me. Another favorite companion is the family dog Poseidon(shown in picture)who always goes along with me on my long hikes. Whether you have a favorite pet who's been in the family for years, a new addition to the family, or a community pet, there's something about animals that brings joy to our lives. In fact, the bond between humans and animals has been proven to increase levels of happiness, which is just one of the reasons why keeping a community pet in assisted living communities has impacted the residents overall well-being and longevity. Interacting with animals has shown to reduce stress, fear and anxiety in humans and reduce levels of blood pressure, heart rate and promote overall well-being. Interacting with animals has also shown to promote an increase of maternal care in mammals, as our care for animals can increase our ability to care for ourselves. With all these benefits of human-animal interaction (HAI), there have also been studies suggesting that these benefits increase even more when a dog interacts with its owner versus a stranger. It's no wonder that dogs are referred to as "mans best friend." How have animals impacted your life? Are you planning on spending the holidays with a favorite pet? Comment below and share your story!