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For the Love and Companionship of Pets

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so now’s a good time to address the surprising influence pets have on our emotional well-being….

As we all sit at home and make the best of the situation at hand, it is hard to not feel the struggle of a complete change in life as we know it.  Our homes have becomes offices, schools, restaurants, etc. – all confined in a small footprint due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This can have a profound effect on our mental health and outlook on life.  I have been alone in my home for over a month with almost no human contact of any kind.  My saving grace has been my wonderful Lab, Mazzi.  I have never leaned on or depended on a living thing more in my life than I do this beautiful 65-pound angel.  What I have learned being around her every minute of the day and night is that her attitude never changes; she has no idea what a pandemic is and she has provided me love and support anytime I want or need it. No question.  We walk, we play, we cuddle.  I have cried with her in my arms several times, and she has licked me to the point that I laugh uncontrollably.  She is a rock in my life when I need it most, and I honestly do not know how I would be able to function daily without her.  She gives me structure and purpose.  

Isn’t that what we all need now in this new normal? I truly believe the love of a pet, whether dog, cat, fish, bird, rabbit, hamster and even a turtle (yes, I once owned one) can help us all feel less alone.  Your mental health will improve when you look in the eyes of a soul that only wants to love and please you. (Added bonus: your physical health will improve when you take your dog for long walks!)

If you realistically can bring that gift into your life, do it; especially now. You and your pet will thank each other.

 Eric and Mazzi

By Eric Mamon, HealthEase Fitness Professional