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Coach Shari: A Girl's Best Friend

Coach Shari: A Girl's Best Friend
Our life coach columnist shares three reasons why a pet can improve your quality of life - even if you do have to share the bed with them.
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I woke up this morning to the sound of my pug, Miles snoring heavily into my ear while sitting on my pillow. He was perched above my body with one paw placed strategically on my head. This way, he could predict the precise moment I decided to move even a muscle and get out of bed — to give him his breakfast. Miles, like all Pugs, has a one-track mind in the morning. Pushed up against me on one side was my cat Biscuit, while my cat Joey was under the covers on the other side. I wouldn't exactly say that I was comfortable in this position, but for some reason, I find myself accommodating all three of them all night long.

I know many people that don't have any pets. Frankly, they don't feel as though they are missing out on anything. I tend to disagree. When I worked as a Mental Health Therapist, I often suggested to clients that they get a pet. Whether it is a goldfish, cat, dog, or hamster, studies have shown (and I have witnessed first-hand) that owning a pet is beneficial to your emotional and physical health. Let me explain.

Pets Make Great Company
You don't have to ever feel like you are coming home to an empty house when you have a pet. They are there to greet you and keep you company and are always happy to see you. They don't ever talk back to you and seem to enjoy every conversation that the two of you have together. They are there for you in the good times and in the bad. Pets are loyal to you and they don't judge — wonderful qualities that are sometimes sorely lacking in humans. On top of that, sitting with your pet and stroking its fur has been shown to reduce stress and lower your blood pressure.

Pets Give You Someone to Care for in Your Life
In my past work, I was able to see firsthand how important it is for each one of us to feel that we have purpose in life. As humans, we like the feeling of being needed. I worked with a woman that was going through a very rough time in her life. She had no partner, friends or children but she had a dog. That dog gave her a reason to get up in the morning and to keep on going in life. She believed that her dog needed her and this gave her joy and meaning in her existence. The truth is, they needed each other.

Pets Make You Laugh
I don't know about your animals, but my dog and cats are quite comical. My favorite time is when my dog decides that he's going to play with one of the cats. The problem is, Miles "thinks" the cats are dogs and expects them to interact like his friends. This works for a while because the two cats are unusually laid back and basically like him. Invariably, the game ends with fur flying and screeches when Miles again takes it way too far for any cat to endure. I immensely enjoy watching the same pattern play out over and over — it never gets old.

Pets bring you happiness, pleasure, true companionship and purpose in your life. On top of that, they positively impact your health in a variety of ways. So if you have been contemplating getting a pet, go for it, girlfriend!



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