Friday, October 7, 2011

U.S. News Amazing Animals

I am a book person. I have an iphone, and I whole-heartedly embrace tecnhnology, but I still love paper. I love books, I love magazines, I love holding them, flipping their pages, ripping out articles to keep for later, so much so that there are books and magazines are stacked around the house as my endless piles of enjoyment for later. I can't make the jump to a Kindle or a Nook, but it would really cut down on the house clutter if I could. I am especially drawn to anything related to pets. My last visit to Barnes and Noble I stumbled upon U.S. News Amazing Animals magazine edition. It had to come home with me. I have enjoyed the articles and I am going to share some of the highlights with you.

The first article is is titled “The Magical Bond between Man and Beast,” by Pat Shipman. It states that a 2010 survey found that 62% of U.S. households own a pet, and we spend over $48 billion on them. It also states that we domesticated dogs 32,000 years ago, and that that was 20,000 years earlier than any other species. But my favorite part of this article is the paragraph explaining the benefits of owning an animal.
“Experiments have shown that petting an animal lowers a human’s blood pressure and causes both human and animals to release a “feel-good” bonding hormone called oxytocin. (Oddly this is what we vets give to females having trouble delivering). Being with animals regularly can lower cholesterol, ease stress, and ameliorate depression.”
I also think that the authors closing statement really accurately describes why we are all so bonded to our pets. “The human bond with animals is mental, emotional, physiological, physical, and at least partly genetic. People have evolved to live with animals; and in this ancient connection lie the evolutionary roots of empathy, tolerance, and the ability to understand another’s perspective.”

My absolute favorite article of the issue is titled “Do Animals have Feelings, Too?”, written by Michael Morella,  it is an amazing article. i know this is a hot topic for some, but for me it is a very simple easy answer. “Yes,” I believe that they have almost every range of emotion that we higher humans have. They seek affection, they fear, they trust, they get angry, jealous, and defend their territory, young, mates, and family. Jane Goodall documented one chimpanzee named Flint, who was very attached to his mother. When his mother died at 8-1/2 years old he became inconsolable and returned to the place that his mother died often. He would just sit there where she died and stare into space. He died within one month. I have read about elephants who return to the place their ancestors died and use their trunks to touch and carry their bones. It is a sort of mourning ritual that is common among elephants.

I ran an errand today that meant my pups, who routinely go everywhere with me, were left with my husband who planned on being home all day. When I returned a few hours later I was greeted by jumping, wagging, yippy 2 yr olds who acted like they hadn’t seen me in a month. Every morning I wake up to Jekyll yawning , wagging, and pawing at me excited to start another day. My kitties greet me everytime I say hello to them with a purr and a rub. They will meow at me to plead that I pick them up and cuddle them. My one cat Donner loves to perch on my shoulder rub his face along my neck and go for walks. One of the ways I help owners decide that their pet is suffering and ready to pass on is when they no longer show any sign of emotion and no longer function at the most basic level. When a cat is soo sick they will not purr when you pet them, or your dog will not lay his head down on your hand they have already let go of their life.

On our way to the beach. We go to Outer Banks every year, because dogs are allowed on the beach, and our beach house rental let's us bring 7 dogs, and 6 adults.

Jekyl waking up in the morning. All yawns.      



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