It’s quite ironic that I decide to write a post about how beneficial having a cat or dog is for mood when my own pet has decided to be a complete nightmare today! In general however, I wouldn’t be without my dog now – she always listens when I want to rant, and for some reason, just stroking or cuddling her just lets the cares of the day slip away. She also gives excellent excuses for getting out to go for a walk, however small, and there’s nothing like taking in the wonderful surroundings of a park, beach, hilltop – or even just leafy suburbs to raise the spirits. Something I noticed when I was in my serious low was that I missed the beauty in things. The beauty around me, and if you don’t see these things, it’s harder to feel a connection with yourself.

It’s also the simplicity of how an animal loves – without fail, my dog meets me at the front door when I get in from work, simply pleased to see me again, and first thing in the morning when I wake up. Yes, she may be quite willful and decide to ignore my commands sometimes, but mostly, she’s a good girl. It’s something I try my best to do, is love without condition, look for the best in everyone, and lose my fears and distrust and paranoia. You wouldn’t think an animal would help with this, but, I feel she does. Just looking into her eyes, you see trust and love. So simple.

So how can this help? Well, caring for an animal distracts me from my own moods when they are low, and at times when I have been really low, or feeling ill, she has sensed this, and not left my side until I was feeling better. She senses if things are not quite right, and snuggles alongside me, sometimes licking me, or nudging me awake if i’ve fallen asleep on the sofa. You can question the care of an animal, maybe she only cares because you feed and water her? I’m not so sure, I think it’s a genuine link that she makes with her owners in equal measure – but whatever the reasoning, she helps me when my mind races away, and I never feel alone with my thoughts any more. Plus looking at her every day reminds me how simple life can be. We can complicate our thoughts, actions and feelings as much as we want, but essentially, if we love the best we can, when things go wrong, they never feel as bad as they could be.