One of the biggest privileges in life is companionship and unconditional love and where better to get this than from pet ownership – or should we say animal companionship
The first domesticated animal was the dog – archaeologists can differentiate between dogs and wolves through various skeletal differences and have evidence of this domestication across Europe, Asia and Australia.
Of course, cats were playing hard to get and refused to be domesticated prior to dogs, they wouldn’t stoop to that! Cats were incredibly significant in Ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians worshiped a cat Goddess which went by the name of Bastet (perhaps a good animal companion name…) and the good luck to those who injured or killed a cat as penalties were severe.
In 2016 Companion Animals in NZ released a report with 65% of households being home to at least one companion animal. The most popular was the cat at 44% (cats often adopt themselves to you) and dogs at 28%. 10% of house-holds have fish.
So, just what is the right pet for you? This is something you really need to ask yourself and do a bit of research on. Do you have the time for an animal in your life? Do you have a safe environment for a pet? Other questions you may need to ask yourself is do you have the ability to walk a dog regularly? Do you have little ones visiting regularly who may pull a tail a little too hard or grab clumps of hair in a tight little fist. Would an animal under your feet pose a tripping hazard for you? Also, do you travel a lot? Can you afford food, vaccinations, vet trips?
Animals can provide love, companionship and warmth along with a lot of laughs at their silly antics. They can also provide contact with others in the community. We all love to stop and pat a dog, find out what their name is and tell them they are of course a very good boy!
If caring for your own pet isn’t something that you can fully commit to, have you ever considered volunteering at your local shelter? The RSPCA often requires fosters or pet sitting while owners are away. Another option is helping the blind foundation train guide dogs.
If a companion animal just isn’t for you (or a loved one), you can also look at robotic animals. In 2018 Sony released Aibo (eye-bo) which is a robotic dog with touch sensitive areas for petting and very realistic movement.
Do you have a companion animal? We would love to see them! You can find our contacts here.