“Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I don’t know of anything that can lighten the mood as much as a cute or playful animal. I realize many situations make it impossible to have a pet in the home, but I hope everyone has the chance to make friends with at least one or two animals, even if you have to visit other people’s pets. The therapeutic effect of interacting with an animal can cut through stress with a relaxing joy not found anywhere else.
During the long months of Jeff’s chemotherapy, we would occasionally have delightful visits with some of the therapy dogs that work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The dogs were polite and well trained, really impressive with their obedience to their handlers and their sociable approaches to each person in the room. Seeing the dogs in their military garb (wearing camouflage jackets with ranks and other insignias) always brought a smile to our faces. They spread cheer to so many people facing illness and sorrow.
Your animal friends might be wild birds and squirrels, farm chickens, sheep or goats, or a household bird, fish, cat, or dog. Whatever creature you choose (or whatever chooses you), I wish you the peace, comfort, laughter and fun of watching an animal today.