Unconditional Love

By Thornton W. Blease


























While I can’t remember a day in my life without an animal at my side. I remember the first time I rescued a cat, which I named Hunter (I was four years old). She ran up to me to greet me at the door and was so happy to see me. I thought, “Now this is why we have cats.”

Extensive research reveals that just the act of petting an animal can increase the levels of the stress reducing hormone, Cortisol. Study after study has shown that owning a pet is good for your health. Pet owning patents keep their blood pressure in check in times of stress better than patients without pets. Another study showed that patients who have suffered a heart attack increased their odds of survival for at least a year if they own a pet.

It is the unconditional love that a pet gives you. They don’t judge you for leaving the laundry piled on the floor, or eating the ice cream out of the container. They are truly man’s and women’s best friend. 

Growing up in an animal hospital/animal shelter, I know there is as much to learn from animals than from people. I am constantly amazed at what they have taught me. They are capable of bringing out the best in people, even in the most dire circumstances. 

They bring out the nurturing side of us. This they do without passing judgment or holding grudges.

They do a wonderful job of helping people deal with loneliness. Senior citizens who own a pet have an enhanced quality of life because their

pet gets them out and increases their feelings of social connectedness. While getting a pet solely for the purpose of meeting people may not be a good idea, it is hard to overlook the fact that animals bring other people together and improve socialization overall. 

Therapy animals entire purpose in life is to make people feel better. Pet therapy is used alongside of conventional medicine to advance a patient’s outcome.

My friend spent many months at the Mayo Clinic eventually requiring the surgical removal of his pancreas, gall bladder, bile duct, spleen part of his intestine, part of his liver and his appendix due to a genetic disorder called Nail-Patella Syndrome. He swears that the therapy dogs that visited him at the Mayo Clinic were a huge part of his quick and smooth recovery. Therapy animals are so important to our current medical modality that there isn’t one major children’s hospital in this country that doesn’t allow pets on its floor for some kind of pet therapy program.

The World Health initiative coined the term zooeyia to refer to the many possible benefits to human health from interacting with animals. Pets provide us with physical touch when we are in the need of comfort, an ear to listen to our problems and a laugh after a long day.

 can provide physical as well as emotional help for their owners, even helping to reduce the effects of allergies. It may seem counter-intuitive that the very thing that causes allergies, pet dander, can actually end up reducing it. Studies have revealed that babies exposed to animals in their home developed stronger immune systems overall.

Most important, it doesn’t matter what species or breed of animal. Any specie or breed alleviates both emotional and physical stress. They become members of the family and provide connection and sense of belonging that we as humans crave. 

Caring for an animal teaches the valid lesson of becoming selfless and realizing that something depends on you for its care and love. A pet offers a sense of purpose. What could be better for our mental health than knowing that just our existence creates so much happiness and love in another being’s life?

And that, my friends, is why you need a pet- in case you were on the fence. Visit the shelter and adopt a friend today.