2020 has been a year none of us will soon forget. Having a pet has been a great
source of comfort to more people than ever this year. Pets have always
been a source of comfort to people, but even more so during the pandemic. That's
why shelters have fewer cats and dogs for adoption today.
Pets offer us many things. Pets help to ease loneliness. They really
do. If you're alone, having a pet is having another living, breathing
companion in the house. Someone to take care of, someone to walk, nurture
and feed. They're a constant companion. Dogs will follow you from room to
room all day. I find myself talking to my dogs. Some people may think it's
crazy; I don't think so. Dogs truly understand. If you're watching,
you will see it in their eyes.
Dogs give people a reason to get up in the morning. You have to walk
the dog. You have to get up, get dressed and get out. It gets you out
of the house where you will likely meet other dogs and their dog walkers. It's
fresh air and exercise for both of you and maybe even some socialization—socially
distanced, of course!
Pets offer us a sense of solace and calm when the going gets rough. Our
pets have an innate ability to understand and sense our moods. If you're
feeling down or you're sick, they understand. They will stick by your side
until you're well, helping to comfort you along the way. They just want to
please. They'll sleep with you and watch out for you.
When you're anxious, pets will calm you. Stoking the fur of a beloved
cat or dog or whatever animal is calming in and of itself. It has been
proven that animals help to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and even depression
in humans. For a depressed person, having an animal takes away feelings of
being alone, because they are not alone. These are emotional support
animals, and they are a lifesaver for some.
There are also specially trained dogs who are trained to perform specific
tasks. They can be taught to alert us to seizures, turn lights off and on
and even take clothes out of the dryer. These are true service dogs trained to
help the disabled, and they do a wonderful job of it.
Pets offer unconditional love. They want nothing from us but to be
The positives having a pet can do for humans is nothing short of
amazing. How often I have seen a dog go in to save a family after they
suffer a terrible loss, yet the family feels they saved the dog. In truth, they
saved each other...
2020 has been the year of the pandemic. It's been an unprecedented
year. Having dogs got me through this year. They're wonderful
companions. I'm certain it has done the same for countless
others. Pets have truly been a lifesaver as comfort in 2020, and it's not
over yet. I know I will always have dogs. It is my hope that people who
have found solace and gratification in having a pet for the first time this
year will continue to do so for many years to come. We depend on our pets
and they depend on us.
Elyse Berman, PA, CRS is a Pet-Friendly REALTOR® who has been
helping people buy and sell homes for the past 16-plus years. She serves Palm
Beach County, Florida. Check out her blog.