Nothing beats the happiness you feel when a wagging tail and wet nose greet you at the doorstep after a long day at work. No matter how terrible the day, those loved-filled doe eyes are sure to make you feel special. They are all about loving you unconditionally. It is as American humour writer Josh Billings once said: “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
For all that this furry creature is, he has earned himself the title of ‘man’s best friend’. The friendship that began thousands of years ago has stood the test of time. Once upon a time, man mainly depended on dogs for hunting and security. In turn, the animal got food, protection and shelter. With this symbiosis, dogs eventually became an integral part of man’s life. Today, a dog is much more than the animal man domesticated. Dogs are companions, caregivers, and healers. But above all, they are a source of immense joy.
No wonder numerous studies have been conducted to understand how dogs manage to make our lives feel so good. According to a study conducted by UK-based Mental Health Foundation, companionship with a dog can improve mental wellbeing in humans. Just sitting with a dog or patting its head can make any individual feel calm and relaxed. IT professional Mrinal Shetty can vouch for this. He says, “I love dogs but could not have one due to lack of time. When I quit my job and was at home, I started feeling lonely and sad. That was when I decided to get a dog. Having Charlie by my side has made me a happy, energetic, and positive person.”
Imagine having a furry friend you can cuddle every time you feel stressed out. It is perhaps the most natural therapy. Even a study conducted by Stanford suggests that having an animal companion can ease stress to a great extent. Researchers have gathered evidence that suggest the company of a pet animal can have the same effect on us as meditation and exercise.