I've been doing a lot of thinking about animals and health, and I totally understand how bringing a cat or dog into a convalescent home or an old folks home can really raise the spirits of the people who are living there.
But there are other ways that animals – not just dogs or cats - can raise your spirits.
Suppose you get a diagnosis: the first thing that happens is a deep depression; you want to crawl up into a ball and disappear into bed; you don't want to talk to anyone; the will to live leaves you. One of the most important things my doctor says to people who have had diagnoses is to not give up the faith. That you need to LAUGH and smile because it's good medicine.
Food is good medicine, and laughter is good medicine, and in order to help facilitate that laughter, an animal can be very useful.
I have two cats – as you know - Sammy and Joey. Two little rescues that have just lit up my life. I don't know how I survived 16 years without them. I've always had animals. And granted, it was easy to have animals when I was married and had a full house with a full staff. But I want life to be more simple these days. Not much staff, and two little kitties that make me laugh. Life does not have to be so difficult.
On days I feel low energy, I just sit down and watch them play. A quick snuggle with one of these furry little freaks just picks up my spirits. And crazy enough, I have an allergy to them. But I don't care. Because they make me laugh. Laughter – as I said – is the best medicine.
So if you are feeling down in the dumps, feeling like you can't get out of bed, maybe it's time to get an animal that you have to focus on. Take the focus off yourself. Shelter Chic is where I got my Joey. They take animals that are in more dire straits than you are - so many animals that need a home who have been mistreated, hurt, or confused by their families - that just the idea of giving one of these little guys a home can pick up your spirits.
You do something good for them, and they do something good for you.
Funny how the world works!