Does the thought of losing your pet cause your mood to go into a downward spiral and ruin an otherwise perfectly good day? Do you spend more time thinking and caring for your pet than yourself?
Or is this you?
If you’ve answered ‘Yes,’ the good news is that you’re not Tin Man, but the not-so-good news is that you might be overly attached to your pet.
No, there’s nothing wrong with it. We all grieve when they’re gone, we all pamper them while they’re here. It’s natural. It’s what they do and what they have that’s rare in humans that fills the emotional void and makes us fall in love with them so deeply. Their unconditional love, no matter how little time we spend with them, how we look when we put on extra weight, their affection (except Mari-kun), and their willingness to listen to our complaints makes them the perfect companion.
Animals And Their Wizardry
However, it’s also their almost perfect character (‘almost’ because they have the innate ability to do the dumbest things) that led many into a trap.
Although a pet can bring about great therapeutic healing, as seen in therapy dogs, we need to be honest with ourselves if we can deal with the fact that most animals will leave this place before we do. It can even be a dangerous event if someone is already suffering from mental illness. Even so most people, a pet is more than just a furry companion – they can even mean more than a significant other or family member.
Too Much Of A Good Thing Makes Me Sick, Especially If The Good Thing Is Chocolate
Most people I know take the loss of their pets in stride, especially pets who died of old age. But life is not only fragile; the outcomes of daily events – big and small, are beyond our control. How many times have you bought someone a gift but only to get an awkward smile when they opened it up?
It’s not about being indifferent but knowing where to draw the line. Water and nutrients are essential for the growth of a plant; give it too much, and it dies. The same goes for many things in life.
Pets are readily conditioned by positive things; they’ll soon know that all they need to do to get more treats and attention is to beg for it. Not only does it create obesity, anxiety, and stress issues, but having an unhealthy body and mind will manifest into, in turn, creating more problems.
It’s A Matter Of Personal Reflection
It’s difficult finding the balance as most pet owners are either overly attached or nonchalant, both of which will create the same behavioral and health issues.
So, in my opinion, only when we understand the boundaries of what’s expected of our pets (e.g., rules they need to abide by), but also what’s expected of us – logically evaluating our pet’s best interests, will we be able to enjoy a healthy relationship.