The Importance of Pets

Most people who know me will tell you that I love all animals and of course that means I’ve got many pets there’s actually more pets in the house then there is people. My dad and I live with two dogs, two guinea pigs and nine fish, to most people that seems rather insane but for us it’s a very good set up.

Many people believe pets are simply a luxury something to have around for the hell of it, but for others having pets in the house is like having another member of the family around. I suffer from various mental illnesses and I have attempted to take my own life so almost as a defaultĀ  my pets are far more to me then a luxury or even companionship they are the rock that holds me down, they give me a reason to live to get up every morning. Pets are not just for people with mental illnesses, pets also give you undieing loyalty and love when dad opens the door in the morning when he gets home from work the first thing that he sees is the dogs heads waiting for him.

It’s also been shown that having pets around young children can help to prevent allergies, it’s also been shown that they help to increase life expectancy as well as general health however if you’re not an animal person these are not good enough reasons to get a pet. What strikes me as the most remarkable power that pets have is the ability to calm and soothe any mood, if I’m upset cuddling a dog is a sure way to make me feel better and last night when I couldn’t sleep grabbing a guinea pig to cuddle soothed me enough to get at least some sort of sleep. All my pets have helped to open me to a whole world of emotions that I’d never experienced and I gained a new area of empathy as well as responsibility. Pets are everything to me, they’re part of my family and they’ve never hurt me in the way that other people have.

However the best thing that I’ve ever experienced wasn’t a pet rescuing me but adopting my guinea pigs and giving them a second chance. I’ve had one girl Nellie living with me for almost two years now(she’s roughly three) and when I first adopted her she was very shy and pretty nuts with a very submissive personality, but she bonded not only with me but with her friend Aphrodite(who died in early December). Over the first year I watched Nellie grow into a much stronger and bolder little piggie she’s still pretty crazy but her personality has really blossomed and watching that take place make’s the whole world look better. My heart breaking loss of Aphrodite was made all that much harder by the fact that Nellie really felt the loss as well, Nellie became really suspicious of me and she got quite depressed then started to fight with every piggie we tried to introduce her to. This experence opened me up to understanding how my dad feels whenever I’m suffering, because it was hard to watch Aphrodite suffer though lymphoma and so I’m now able to understand how my dad feels when I’m suffering with my illnesses. Through understanding animals behaviours and emotions you can learn to understand other peoples heaviours and emotions, our pets live with us and in the end they become like us to an extent(I know my pets are as nuts as I am).


About Mandy

I live with an assortment of illnesses and one illness causes me chronic pain so I live with my dad. I'm lucky that Dad looks after me, even though I'm an adult, which allows me to actually live a life. I love animals. I have two dogs, five adopted guinea pigs, and two small tropical fish tanks. I listen and sing (badly) to mainly rock music. I really enjoy reading and often read an assortment of different genres but I do have a special interest in true crime. I was studying psychology with the intention of specialising in Forensic Psychology and when I'm able to I will return to university.

Posted on 11/01/2013, in Animals, mental health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. you cant kill yourself if you have to take care of your pets, hehe.

    I have two pets, I personally dont see them as my family, cause they only know me, I see myself as their caretaker.
    Also, personally I dont like them to feel “my crazyness”, cause I dont think they can fully understand it in my case.
    As their caretaker, I love to give them a world where they have what they need and can be happy, it feels good when they love you back.

    • redtearsblackwings

      You’ll find that the very nature of animals is that they will feel your craziness no matter how much you try to shield them from it. I know my guinea pigs tend to be a little more cray when I’m having my more anxious or manic days and they tend to be a bit more low key when I’m depressed, my dogs are the same. You are right one of the things I considered when I was thinking about adopting more pets was, that in order to look after them properly I’d have to be alive and since adopting them I did become less suicidal and my self harm incidents went way down…I’ve only done it once since I got the piggies.

      • They not only force me to be alive, they force to even smile, be nice and work on their their stuff and mine even when I dont feel like that at all.

        of course they feel everything, as a human, one looks for many things since we have developed comunication skills, but for them, I get the feeling theyre looking and sensing you most of the time, since you are the main provider of their lifes and they love you as well. Thats the reason Im very careful with my expressions, for example, I used to be frustraded all the time, so I threw and smashed things, but now I cannot do that, it would disturb the peace we all enjoy.

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