Once again, we mourn the senseless slaughter of children. I’m certainly not writing to discuss the politics or policy of any of this. I’m writing to say I’m here for you, and–we are so lucky–so are our pets.
The thing is, this type of tragedy feels like a regular occurrence. It IS a regular occurrence. The heart, soul, and head can only take so much.
So, we pet lovers are blessed with furry comfort turn to our pets for comfort and support.
I know many of you have children, lots of them school-age. Did you know: Simply patting a pet can lower your blood pressure and heart rate–and it’s not just dogs and cats. Even pets like rabbits and turtles relieve anxiety.
One of the best reads on this topic covers the Mood-Boosting Power of Dogs. I suggest a full read, but here’s a highlight:
“Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a dog can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.”
As you talk to your children and try (try… because we don’t even understand it…) to explain these things, it might help to park them on the sofa next to your beloved pet so they can tangibly benefit by petting as you talk. Or, if they feel frightened–and, honestly, who doesn’t?– your family pet can help them cope with the terror and heartbreak. Maybe even consider bending the rules and letting your pup or cat sleep in your kiddo’s room… whatever works.
I know this isn’t typical dog-blog fare, but nothing about now is typical.
I’m thinking of you, your families, and your pets. If you need anything, if you want some ideas or resources on how your pets can help your kids, if you need help finding a local positive trainer, or just want someone to say “I’m scared, too,” I’m here for you.
Hug your kids–with and without fur–extra tight.