A survey of Canadians has found that 53 percent of those who have pets find them more reliable than people. The study, conducted by Harris/Decima, a well-known public opinion research organization in Canada, also showed that 90 percent of those surveyed talk to their pets, and 33 percent have confided deep personal secrets to them.
“There are many reasons why people trust their pets, but what’s really important is that we learn from their behaviour. We can honour what they teach us by offering the same gifts to the people in our lives; namely, by being kinder as human beings towards one another,” said Shiri Joshua, a therapist who works with both animals and their owners. (Source: Montrealgazette.com)
Joshua also said that pets are very good listeners, in reference to the finding that 90 percent of respondents talk to their animals. One possible explanation for this finding is that, because of social isolation in the modern world, companion animals have become very important for some individuals in maintaining their sense of intimacy and connectedness.
For some people, the longest emotional relationship they have had is with a cat or dog. Animals can be a steady presence through a variety of stressful situations, including relocation, divorce, and dissolving friendships. They provide companionship even when you are sick, depressed, poor, or having emotional problems — situations that may cause difficulties in relationships with other people.
People who have experienced emotional turbulence in the past may feel more comfortable and safer being close to an animal. In fact, dogs have proven to have a calming effect on abused and neglected children, helping them to feel safe enough to speak about their painful personal experiences in court. Also, with a pet, people who experience extreme social isolation are able to have a relationship where they are taking care of another, and yet at the same time are taking care of themselves.
Pets bring us joy, reduce stress, and comfort us when we’re feeling low — all without saying a word. It’s no wonder we trust them with our hearts.
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