Animal Attachment

Since I’m an animal lover, I chose to do this post on attachment to animals. Relationships with animals can play a pivotal role in our lives. My dog Max is among my best friends. At anytime, he’s always willing to be a true friend, no matter the circumstance.

The relationship with an animal can help its master continue his/her development of self-concept. Just like a caring and responsive parent, a pet can positively influence a human being and can even provide necessary elements that may be lacking in human companionship. A study done by Sue-Ellen Brown (2004) showed that pets served as self objects, providing humans positive self esteem, calmness and soothing, among other things ( http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/avhc/Medicine/Understanding-and-optimizing-attachment-to-animals/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/567240?contextCategoryId=47848).

Studies have also shown that animals can provide comfort when one is ailing from illness or loss for elder people (http://openlibrary.org/b/OL17876402M/CONCEPTUAL_FRAMEWORK_OF_HUMAN-ANIMAL_RELATIONSHIPS__AN_EMPIRICAL_EXAMINATION_%28PET_THERAPY__AGING%29.). While this study focused on the elderly, it could no doubt apply for any age group.

In a physical sense, attachment to animals can bring health benefits. During 19th century Germany, people suffering from epilepsy were prescribed the task to care for animals, such as cats and dogs, each day. With the daily interaction with the animals, patients found that they suffered from fewer and less severe seizures. Another study done in 1980 by a team of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that human to animal contact led to lowered levels of blood pressure, respiratory rate, anxiety and tension (http://wapedia.mobi/en/Human_bonding).

Attachment is a pretty complex thing. We can develop it among our fellow human beings as well as with animals and objects. The relationships we can build and establish with our furry friends can be just as fulfilling as the ones we build with our other friends and family. Personally, I can say that I’ve become very attached to my pets over the years and without a doubt realized who I am through those relationships.

-James Frost

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~ by kersey3 on October 4, 2009.

4 Responses to “Animal Attachment”

  1. i totally agree, a pet can fill that void of loneliness. I have many friends that dont want to have children they fill their dogs are their kids. also when you have kids it can teach your kids how to care for pets which is very valuable later in life for teaching them responsibilty

  2. I agree that dogs and cats play a role in a humans life; but certainly not all ‘pets’ can fill that void. I think it’s risky to say that all pets help; when i think it is those pets, like cats, dogs, horses, that can react to you, that help your life. Having a fish pet, or a hamster… etc., probably isn’t going to be beneficial to your well-being.

  3. In “therapy animals” that come and visit you in the hospital for an hour, I am not sure that is attachment. in what sense is the dog being used as a secure base?
    However, therapy dogs are also carefully screened and chosen because of their easy going nature and tolerance of being touched and petted by strangers.
    those kinds of dogs are just likable in general, I don’t say I feel an attachment to them any greater than i have an attachment to my favorite flavor of ice cream.
    If i didn’t find them pleasant, i wouldn’t feel “attached”.
    And that kind of attachment is not the attachment we are talking about in class.
    Stuart walker

  4. You blog is very nice. What tools did you use to make this?

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