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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Pets are the best therapy

Photo credit: Grant Garnsey
Photo credit: Grant Garnsey

Dogs, and animals in general, bring this bundle of happiness that people just can’t deny. When you’re stressed which would you rather see, a litter of puppies or a baby? I bet it would be the puppies.

See, I think animals are a form of therapy that is like no other. Dogs are being used now more than ever as therapy dogs. Some people find it ridiculous, but I know personally, if a furry companion can stop people from being anxious then why not fly with them, bring them to the courtroom or just when you’re out shopping.

According to Therapy Animal, therapy dogs, or other animals help decrease stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and aggressive behavior.

I remember my first year at Chico State, when finals week hit hard, University Village had some dogs come by to be stress relievers for students who were studying away. Animals just have this vibe where it’s relaxing and easy going, all-around happiness.

Growing up with the mental issues that I had, I really relied on my childhood cat, Nyleigh. She somehow always knew when I was sad, because she would find her way up to my room and lay with me. She wouldn’t leave my side until I either stopped crying or just perked up altogether.

She was the only living creature that I could trust with all my secrets. She basically was my walking diary. Talking to her, as crazy cat lady as that sounds, was healthy for me. I got what I needed to say off my chest, and Nyleigh would never judge me for the things I would say. Well if she was judging me, I didn’t know about it.

Often stress can come from bottling things in, but when I would let it out to her, I would start to feel better. I could ease my mind and maybe come up with solutions. She was my best friend.

So when I went away to college I always felt like I was missing something. No, I didn’t bring Nyleigh up to Chico with me, but I did get a new kitten, Cobi.

When school starts to get hard and I feel myself overwhelmed, I just cuddle up with my chubby white fluff of a cat and start to relax.

Pets love us unconditionally; they are the one thing that will be there for us no matter what. Every day when you get home from work or school, they are there greeting you at the door. When you just need a hug, you can feel their love coming through. Pets are the best therapy, stress reliever and companion that a person can have.

So if you have a pet, go appreciate all that they’ve done for you so far. And if you don’t, stop by the local animal shelter. I promise you, five minutes there and you’ll feel better.

For almost 19 years Nyleigh was the best thing I could have ever asked for, so thank you for the memories, and I miss you already babe.

Brittany McClintock can be reached at orion[email protected] or @B_McClintock17 on Twitter.

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Brittany Mcclintock, Staff Writer

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