Animal Companionship and Stress Reduction

tashiThe value of friendship is something that few people take time to really appreciate. When you need a friend, you realize just what kind of value friendship holds. I also value the companionship of my pets and consider them to be my friends too.  I derive so much health and wellness and fun from my relationships with my pets, who are capable of unconditional love and unerring loyalty.

Animal Companionship and Stress reduction

Scientific research shows that there’s a strong correlation between animal companionship and stress reduction. When you’re feeling anxious or sad, animal companionship can calm you down and drag you out of the dumps.

From time to time I have ignored my pet’s requests to play with them.  They  drop their toys at my feet while I’m doing other presumably more important things  This animated video is a reminder to me of what’s truly important in my life, and how I sometimes confuse my priorities and deprive myself of fun and friendship.

The Misguided Monk (animation)

When an old hermit monk has his day interrupted by an uninvited guest, he is unwillingly taken on a journey to discover the true meaning of companionship.


I think that no matter who you are, living with a pet can mean leading a happier and more fulfilling life. What do you think?

This post is dedicated to:
A Life Bewhiskered
Earth to Holly


  1. Absolutely. My 3-year old lab has changed me forever. I’m seriously a more nurturing and caring person. Whenever I’m sad or stressed I just play with her…instantly my mood changes.

    I really enjoy your blog. It feels so earthy, and love your background color. My bedroom is painted a similar color, so relaxing! Thanks for subscribing to my blog :)

    • Playing with my dogs always elevates my mood. They are so special. Thanks so much for your visit and the kind words about my blog. I just changed the theme and header images and background. I like making new headers so I change theme frequently. :)

  2. I love having a pet, I have been moving around the last couple of decades so much I have not really been able to keep any, but there is a stray cat I take care of where I live now, he comes and sits around outside the house a couple of times a day and waits for me. They are great for relaxing. Nice post.

    • Hello there,
      Thanks for the comment. I find it very difficult to imagine a time in my life when I may be without pets. I simply love animals too much to give up their companionship easily. Hopefully, one day you will be in a position to have a pet of your own again. In the meanwhile the cat you care for is benefiting from the relationship as are you. Best wishes to you both.

  3. Totally agree. It has been known for some time that animals are very good in this way. We had a hospital visiting program here, in fact probably still do and I really wanted to participate with one of my dogs but my working hours prevented it, sadly.

    We had visits to the Children’s hospital and to an old people’s home. I am sure there are other programmes elsewhere.

  4. Hello Earlie,
    It’s so good to hear how much you cared for your dogs. I too love dogs and can’t imagine being without one. Thanks for visitng and sharing too.
    Best wishes,

  5. Timethief,

    Beautiful post and you bring back memories of my two dogs back home. Their names are Cassandra and Uma (male) and they were really like lovers. hehehe. I love dogs and i think these pets are closer to my heart than any other.

    Thanks for this article

  6. Hi TiTi

    First of all the blog theme is beautiful, so eye catching yet tranquil with its warm, soft colour scheme and lovely images. It really is pleasing to the eye.

    I most definitely agree with you that living with pets can mean leading a happier and more fulfilling life. Right now we have a cat and dog and in the past I’ve kept all manner of pets all of my life and find no greater joy than in their unique, individual characters and behaviours. Many of these animals turned up on my doorstep or in the garden in the past, and still do come if injured or in need. Plus, I have quite a lively following of neighbour’s pets Lol.

    It’s heart-warming reading through everyone’s responses and they just go to show how very important our little companions are to us. I can particularly relate to Count Sneaky’s reply, as my own little dog has brought so much laughter and happiness with his very special character and comical playfulness, that he has many times made me feel so much better along my road to recovery. Without him and my lovely ginger cat, I wouldn’t have laughed half so long or loud, so to them I truly owe my improving health.

    It is so important to respect our little companions in their own right for who and what they are and I so appreciate that we have these unique spirits of Dog, Cat, Bird, Hamster, Rat, Rabbit and all the others.

    With Love, Light and Peace to our furry, feathered and flippered friends.

    • Hello Crystal,
      It’s wonderful to hear from you and have you affirm how much your peys have contributed to your healing. I too have rescued many domestic animals, indluding horses and even livestock. Every relaionship I have had with animals has been a rewarding one. I simply don’t care to contemplate what my life would have been like without their unconiditional love and loyalty.

      The animals in my life have ranged from animals that other declared to be “rogues”, who were simply so sensitive that the training methods they were exposed to caused the negative responses they produced to animals with health problems that needed special care. Once they were retrained in a stable and loving environment where I never asked for more than what they could deliver they performed very well. Over time I did find most of them good homes. Those that I was unable to find homes for remained happily in our care until they passed on.

      Love and light and peace,

  7. Our dog children are soooo important to us. When we lost our Precious girl last November, we were both devastated. She had chosen us to be her family, and we had 14 years of the best love and devotion any human can have. We knew that the time was fast coming, and so in April we decided to get another dog from a rescue center. We named him Mulligan, a golfing term for taking another tee shot off the first tee if your first was not exactly what you expected. So we, in essence, gave him “another chance.” He was a comfort to us when our Precious girl passed away. After our Precious girl passed away, we got Little Liz. She is a sweet little Yorkie, and Mulligan is a wonderful “big brother” to her. We have been on vacation on the southeast coast, and are now on our way home. Our two dog children had as much fun as any human children playing on the beach. Rod says that people who don’t have pets have no idea just what they are missing. We are sooooo lucky!!!

    • Hello Julie,
      Thanks for sharing your positive experiences with your dog friends. When our Irish Setter was in his autumn years we rescued a Bearded Collie and he became a companion to the setter. He grieved for 3 months after the setter’s passing as we did. Just two years ago I lost both of my Chihuahuas who had been with us for 15 years. We were broken-hearted but wthin the same year we adopted a Pomeranian and the following year we rescued two more Chihuahuas. The three get along famously now but the elderly cat isn’t impressed with any of them. We believe he’s about 18 years old but don’t know for sure as he was feral prior to moving in and taming us.

      Best wishes to your and your dogs too.

  8. Hello timethief,

    The last year has been the first time I’ve had pets in my life. I’ve discovered how meaningful it is! They seem like complete beings, deserving of all our love and attention too. This video is such a nice reminder.

    I love what you’ve done with your blog look! It has really evolved beautifully. You are very talented. This is a good theme, near the top of my list.

    Wishing you well.

    • Hi Sandra,
      I forgot about the two kittens you have. I didn’t realize they were your first pets. What an amazing introduction this must be for you. Animals have always been a part of my life, and I consider them to be among the very best friends I have ever had.

      Love and peace,

      P.S. Thanks for the theme comments too. I have surfed the interent to find free images to incorporate into headers and have made several custom headers now and will be making more. Overall I like this theme. I acknowledge not theme will ever be perfect but five things about it are bothering me. Only time will tell if I stick with it or switch back to Inuit Types or try using another theme.

      (1) When I answer comments on the posts from “the front end” of my blog in the Chateau theme, I cannot view the comment and my response to it at the same time. Given the visual challenge I have to overcome to blog at all, this is extremely frustrating. As I cannot see I’m into scrolling up and down over and over and repeatedly editing comments until I can complete them. When After the Deadline isn’t working then I go crazy trying to detect spelling errors and typos.

      (2) In other themes the drop-downs from the custom menu are cearly defined and in Chateau they are not. The sub-page and sub-category drop-downs from the custom menu are so poorly styled that they fade into the page and the text over text makes them very hard to detect. I have a lot of work to do on adding all of my sub-pages but I have such a hard time seeing the drop-downs display that I have set that aside for now.

      (3) In Chateau the footers are virtually unusable for me as I cannot read the text in the gray font on the black background. Hence I have placed only a categories widget in the footer. It does not fit into the sidebar which is IMO too narrow. I suppose I could place only text widgets with social networking icons there but it’s a bad location for the same.

      (4) The sidebar in the Chateau theme is very narrow. I cannot place the Categories widget drop-down in it as it overflows the space allotted.

      (5) In the Chateau theme the Tags are offset to the side of posts. I would prefer to have them display below the posts but I will not be purchasing an annually renewable custom design upgrade to move them there. I do not wish to purchase any additional upgrades and now that “poppressed” ads are displaying again if I do purchase an upgrade it will be to eliminate ads on as it gets far more traffic than this personal blog of mine gets.

  9. I’m a yes for animals too. Though trying to explain to a seven year old on a long walk today about the responsibility that comes with sharing your life with a pet was tricky, don’t think my nephew was convinced. I love the animation, while I don’t chuck the squeaky toys over the precipice, I have been known to put them on the mantelpiece which is not very kind either…..

    • @Alan,
      It’s good to meet you here. As far as I’m concerned, cats are seducers. They are charming creatures, who devote much time and energy into moulding us humans to be the kind of companions they need. But I draw the line at beds. None of my companions are allowed in our bed and they are well aware of that. They have their own beds and we have ours. During the day time the cat may sneak into a bedroom, and when I clear my throat slink out looking shamefaced and annoyed. It’s a game we play, and I always win it because once he’s out I shut the bedroom doors. lol :D

      Best wishes to you and your cat too,

  10. Hi TT, thank you for the dedication and on such a lovely post.

    I agree wholeheartedly that animal companions improve our lives. How can you not feel uplifted when you come home from work and are greeted by a little person who is so pleased to see you. Or, in the mornings, starting the day off with a cuddle and affection – it’s a boost to your day before you’ve even left the house.

    There is a definite lesson to be learned from that video. I feel so lucky to have cat companions again that I am really trying to take the time to appreciate them and spend time with them. It’s hard when you are trying to concentrate on something else, but the bond formed by playing together is so strong that it’s worth putting aside our human tasks for a few minutes. After all, they do not understand that we are busy and to them (house cats especially), we are their whole world.

    • Hi Eleanor,
      I have been enjoying reading about the antics of Spock and Ze and viewing the photos you post. Without doubt we animal lovers derive so much comfort, affection and entertainment value from our pets. They have a remarkable ability to demonstrate unconditional love and affection. I’m glad you agree that there is a definite lesson to be learned from the animation. I felt the same way when I viewed it.

      Best wishes to you and your cat companions,

    • Hi Mikey,
      I read your post and wish you well with your new dog training project. I have a friend who has trained guide dogs for the blind. I believe I’d find it too hard to let them go, so it’s good to hear there are others who are prepared to do that. I’m into providing a good home for animals who need one and once they are part of my family they remain with us until they pass on.

      All my best,

  11. First, let me compliment you on the beautiful blog…outstanding! Having spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last couple of years with my wife, Helen, who has had two cancer surgeries and chemotherapy, I know first hand how important animals can be to healing and reducing stress.

    Everytime I see our Beagle, Lucy, curled up in her lap having her head stroked…everytime I hear Helen talking to Lucy as if talking to a dear child…everytime I see Lucy sitting at her feet, then I know that Lucy knows instinctively how to calm her master and in a way that perhaps humans cannot do.

    Both in hospitals and in assisted care homes dogs and cats have a valuable part to play in patient care, and most institutions are beginning to recognize that part.

    • Dear Count,
      It’s so good to find a comment here from you. Thanks for the blog theme compliment. It’s good to know that you like what you see. I haven’t done anything special with it besides creating multiple headers for it from free images.

      Without doubt pets in nursing homes are well received and have a unique role to play when it comes to comforting the infirm My very best wishes to your Helen and Lucy too.

      With much love,

  12. Lovely post and I’m so glad you have pets that help you, TiTi. :)
    Myself, I’ve had allergies since childhood so haven’t had pets per se since I was a tiny wee thing. But the wild birds that come to our garden and trust me and my husband are my joy and they do help.

    • Hi Val,
      I’m so happy I’m not allergic because some of the best friends I have ever had were furred and feathered. I currently feed many birds and enjoy watching their antics at the feeders. I out drinking water for the birds but one shallow dish has become a bath. I have to fill it twice daily now and when the really hot weather comes I’ll be doing that four times daily.

      • When we lived in London, we had a tiny pond with a solar-powered ‘waterfall’ that the birds loved. I’m pretty sure you can buy (or make, from components) small portable ones consisting of a pot and some pebbles and a solar panel… the water recycles and doesn’t need replacing as often. Maybe that’d save you having to refill the bird bath/drink often? :)

        • Hi Val,
          I know exactly what you mean. I have seen many of these but I have never been moved to buy one. If and when I spot one that works in a secondhand store I will buy it. That’s how thrifty I am. Until then I will be using my very primitive water bowls. :D

  13. I really like the animation. I feel adding anything to your life where the focus or attention is off yourself sometimes can be very rewarding and enriching and in turn stress relieving. There isn’t a mani/pedi that can compete with that. Cool post!

    • Hi Cathy,
      It’s good to hear you liked the animation. The message it conveyed was an important one. I think the point you have shared is likewise important. When we shift our focus to the other companions in our life we reduce stress and draw comfort.

  14. I completely agree! We had a beloved Silky Terrier we lost last year – she was a fantastic friend. We took her to the nursing home my father was at (temporarily) and she was able to visit everyone – she was SO good.

    When we lost her we were devastated. We finally found a new friend – a scrappy Yorkie Pup and immediately started training her to be a therapy dog. After about 6 months, it turns out she doesn’t have the personality. She is a hoot – rambunctious and better than TV….but doesn’t sit idly by while others pet her.

    One day – it’d be nice if we could get her in the Therapy program, but until then, we just love her….

    • Hello Ann,
      Just two years ago I lost my two constant companions who had been with me for about 15 years so I know how sad it was to say goodbye to your Silky. Time passed and I got my Pomeranian and then I rescued tow Chihuahuas. Your Yorkie does sound like a hoot. I have known three and they were affectionate fun loving little balls of energy. I hope your week has gone well and that your next one will be a good one too.
      All my best,

  15. My pets are always family in my heart. Right now my 18 year old catkid is living out the last of her 9 lives and I treasure each day. I have lived with this cat longer than I have ever lived with a person!

    Yes, I think pets mean a happier more fulfilling life. And I think they make humans better people.

    • I agree with you. Our cat is around 18 years old now. We aren’t sure of his age as he was feral and he tamed us. lol :D I think having pets does make me a better person. I have learned many life lessons from mine.

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