Animals and Emotional Support

Have you ever had that moment when you’re upset and your cat or dog came up to you for a cuddle? That’s because studies have shown that dogs and even cats can sense our emotions and how we’re feeling, and even if cats tend to be more aloof than dogs, they’ve still been known to comfort their owner when they’re feeling down.  

Something like this happened to me this weekend  – as we all may have heard, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven others unfortunately passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26th. My mother was visiting that weekend, so I had my dogs there with me  – the news was hard, but when the word broke of his daughter being in the crash, I was devastated. I just had to sit down on the floor and cry. This was when both of my dogs came over, sat between my legs and let me hug them and cry until I felt better. This also isn’t the first time something like this has happened  –  it seems that every time I need it, my dogs are there to comfort me, and I know it’s the same for many others.  

My dogs have been a huge source of emotional support in my life, and it’s been hard living away from them while I’m in school. At one point, I even considered getting an emotional support animal myself (before I remembered that I can hardly take care of myself, let alone another living creature). So, for now, I just have to take what I can get with the occasional visit from my mom, whatever dogs I can pet on campus (not the working ones!), and booking a session with Take a Paws whenever it’s available in the University of Guelph library!  

If you don’t know what Take a Paws is, it’s an event hosted by the university where you can go in and have a session with some therapy dogs through partnerships with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program and Therapeutic Paws of Canada! So if you ’re in need of some furry friends to lift your spirits, check  GryphLife to see if there are any upcoming sessions! These stress busters are normally available around exam time, but they have the occasional sessions throughout the semester as well!