Here’s what pets teach a couple
It’s 3 am. My husband and I had a heated argument the night before, which continued until after midnight. He went off to sleep angry and frustrated, but I was too upset to sleep over it. I was sitting on my side of the bed thinking all sorts of gibberish stuff about how the relationship no longer makes sense (and other extreme feelings people have after a nasty fight).
Our pet dog, Scooby, doesn’t like us fighting. So he was sleeping in the living room to avoid the negativity. But now with my opponent husband sleeping and me weeping in the dark, the house turned quiet again. Suddenly I saw a pair of gleaming green eyes coming to the bedroom in darkness. Scooby came to my side of the bed, wagged his tail and sniffed my hand to check the water.
I petted his head and with that green signal he jumped on the bed and went to my husband’s side of the bed and started licking his ears. Once he opened his eyes to pet him he lied down between two of us doing hilarious antics to seduce us to pet him even more. He rolled down, made a few cuddly noises, did a few acrobatic lessons with his tail. The husband and I looked at each other, smiled, cuddled him and made up.
In the last two years with our pet dog, there were many such times when he helped us bury the hatchet by showing us empathy silently. He puts a smile on our face, no matter what’s going on in his humans’ messed up life. Being a pet parent and an ardent believer in the effectiveness of pet therapy for couples, I believe couples with pets are most definitely happier than others. And here’s why:
1. You become a team
From taking the pooch out for walks to cleaning the kitty’s litter box, from deciding which veterinarian is best for the pet to which brand of food to buy and what kind of training classes to attend, the couple starts working as a team to give their pets the best home possible. Couples continue to work as a team as the pet grows up by deciding whose turn it is to clean after the mess, to take care of their exercise routines and so on. Their ability to work in sync increases manifold and despite the personal differences, if any, they learn to get along every single day.
2. A reason to smile together everyday
I don’t mind being called a crazy dog lady because I speak to my pooch in a high-pitched baby talk. I speak to him in my mother tongue pretending that he understands everything (most of the times he actually does!). My husband rolls down on the floor with him to give him belly rubs and for paw fights. It’s a wonderful feeling to embrace your inner kid by getting silly with your pets. They are the best companions to remind us it’s not too late to smile without a reason.
3. Pets teach you to be compassionate
No matter how many times you have seen ‘Marley and Me’ or the ‘Old Yeller’ you can only get to know how compassionate dogs are, or any pet for that matter, only after you bring one home. They are just like babies all throughout their life, but only less demanding. You don’t need to gift your pet the best treats and the best toys, they feel the happiest with you in any condition. They don’t want anything back from you other than love and petting. Raising a pet as a couple is the best lesson on sharing compassion you can get in life. As a team of pet parents you learn to show love more than before and be able to receive love more graciously.
4. They help couples deal with stress better
Pets are the best medicine to live a happy life. According to WebMD married couples with pets have lower blood pressure and resting heart rate than couples without pets. Other studies show that couples with pets learn to stay calmer during times of stress. When everything else in life goes crazy – be it work, finances and household tasks – sitting down with our dog to play tug of war is the best way to help us keep stress at bay.
5. Pets make a couple more responsible and nurturing
When you adopt a pet to give her a new home you unknowingly become a more responsible person. It’s not just because they need to get basics like food and water, but for play, love and companionship. During their whole lifespan a pet remains a baby who needs our time and affection. They don’t need intense care like a human baby does, instead they bring out the nurturing side of a couple that they never knew existed in them.
With a pet at home, couples start to socialise and step out to get closer to the nature. These fur-balls are the best way to remind us as a couple to look beyond our personal differences and be there for them, as a team of pet parents. Nothing in the world can match up to that experience.