Pet Perfect Life
Woman's Era|January 2022
Pet lovers speak of unconditional love.
Ritu Ghai
Karishma, a chartered accountant in a bank, reaches her home in Indirapuram, around 8 pm every day, after a long day’s work and a gruelling two hours’ drive. Exhausted and waiting to sink in her comfort space, she steps in to find herself suddenly energetic and running around.

Its because her uncle’s two-yearold Yorkshire Terrier is waiting to greet her at the door. He climbs all over her, runs speedily in the room, brings his toy and signals her to throw it for him to fetch it and bring it back. In these few moments of playing with him and getting his unconditional love, her work woes and tiredness seems to melt away.

“As a Chartered Accountant in a bank, I have long hours so keeping a pet is an impossible thought. But thanks to the joint family set-up, I live in, I can enjoy the perks of getting him home for a few days from my uncle’s home, every now and then, to enjoy his energetic presence,” she chuckles.

Her husband, Deepak Khatri, shares her canine fixation and agrees that in the hustle phase of todays’ stressed life, these furry friends can actually gauge your mental state and help reduce your stress levels. “Scientifically also it is known that dogs reduce the stress hormone, Cortisol and are so attuned to human behavior that they interpret your voice tone or body language. Its amazing to see this companionship between a dog and his master,” he elucidates.

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and improve your cardiovascular health. Care for an animal can help children grow up more secure and active. Pets also provide valuable companionship for senior citizens and help them cope with loneliness after their children have left home for higher studies or work.

Endorses Krishna Sharma, 85-year-old resident of Vaishali. “I live a building away from my daughter’s apartment where she and her husband are pet parents to three Shih Tzu’s and one Yorkshire terrier. I visit them daily in the morning and all four dogs greet me lovingly every day. In the little time that I spent at their house, they sit near me and one of them is always by my side. Frankly speaking, visiting my daughter has become extra special for me. The joy and renewed sense of purpose these furry beings bring to me is emotionally uplifting,” explains this retired Joint Secretary from Ministry of Water Resources and former UN consultant.

STAYING CALM AND STABLE

However, dogs’ allegiance to their owner is far more than companionship. As Guard dogs, they protect us, as service dogs they assist people with disabilities and as therapy dogs, they help in healing and destressing. Trained dogs alert their deaf owners about the source of the sound. They help autistic children with everyday tasks like picking things and opening doors. People suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are often prone to violent outbursts. A dog’s company helps them stay calm and stable. They are an asset for loners or those dealing with life-changing situations like divorce, death, etc.

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