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How a Pet Can Make You Healthier

Updated on September 3, 2014
grand old lady profile image

Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

Cover of Feb. issue of Enrich Magazine
Cover of Feb. issue of Enrich Magazine | Source

This article was published in the Feb., 2014 issue of Enrich Magazine. I am including photos of the magazine issue, and the original, unedited article.

Truly, a pet can extend your life and make you happier. Betty Samson, owner of ASOco (the first company to introduce dog agility in the Philippines) consulted a psychiatrist some 15 years ago. She was worried because her father was old, and his wife, (Betty’s mother) had recently died. The psychiatrist advised her to buy her father a pet.

At that time, Betty was the editor of a magazine called Miscellaneous. She was assigned to interview a dog breeder. After the interview, the breeder gave her a boxer

puppy.


Betty gave the boxer to her father. She had grown up with a lot of askals (mongols, or street dogs in the Philippines), which her father took care of. But for the first time, her father was given a pedigree dog.

Her father lived past his nineties. He outlived his boxer,

wholasted for 11 years. After that, he seemed ready to go, even though Betty tried to cheer him up with a dachshund. Today, Betty says, “The boxer gave my father 13 more years of life.”


Sagip

In the Philippines, we have a word for this, “Sagip”, which literally means, “to save.” The theory behind it is that if a dog’s master is ill, the dog will somehow absorb the illness, and in this way, heal his human.

“Sagip” could also apply to the experience of Billy Badilla, owner of Badilla Aviary, which specializes in rare mutations of African Love Birds (One bird costs P100,000.00).

Seven years ago, Badilla was told by his doctor that he had cancer, and he only had two years to live. While undergoing treatment, especially the rigors of chemotherapy, he would spend his entire day on the rooftop, where he kept his collection of birds.

He would check on their food, their eggs, the cleanliness of their cages. In so doing, the pets became his therapy. Badilla believes that the fact that he is still alive and very healthy, five years past his deadline for death, can be accredited in part to his birds.

Source
Enrich is circulated in five countries
Enrich is circulated in five countries | Source

Medical Evidence

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta states on its Web site: "Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness. Pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, opportunities for socialization."

That’s a long list of benefits that people can get from the love of a pet. Another article on WebMD pointed out the link between depression and healing that can come from the love of a pet.

Dr. Ian Cook, MD and psychiatrist at the UCLA Depression Clinic Program told WebMD, “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression.”

Date on page of my article
Date on page of my article | Source

I experienced this when I was given my dog, an askal that I named Winniechurchill. At the time my mother had a long, lingering illness and it was hard to see her suffer so much for so long. I found myself crying in malls, in the office, at home, and my husband and daughter could do nothing to help me.

However, when an officemate gave me an askal during our office Christmas party, everything changed. I was eager to get up, eager to go home, eager to bathe my puppy (every night, thank God she survived), and eager to hold her in my arms.

The thing is, when people worry about you, they have expectations of you. They want you to cheer up, to get better, and you just aren’t ready for that. Winniechurchill had absolutely no expectations of me, and her unconditional love, was my “Sagip”.

It happens a lot. My last name is incorrectly spelled with an "s" at the end instead of "z".
It happens a lot. My last name is incorrectly spelled with an "s" at the end instead of "z". | Source

Horses at War

In the book Valkyrie, written by Philipp Von Boeselager, there were many incidents of “Sagip” between soldiers and their horses. These portions of the book were not shown in the movie version which starred Tom Cruise.

According to the author, the horses performed better than machines (when the Nazi’s tried to enter Russia). They could trot longer and faster, and to the surprise of the soldiers, the horses adapted well to the freezing weather. Their hair automatically thickened, and when there was no hay to feed them, they ate the branches of trees, the thatched roofs of cottages, and sucked water from icicles.

More than that, a horse became, to the soldier, his home. The horse carried their clothes, necessities and tents. Soldiers would try, in secret, to whisper their secrets to their horses, as intimacy among soldiers was discouraged.

My byline on the first page of the article
My byline on the first page of the article | Source

During battle, when guns were firing and explosions occurred and men were shouting, the horses adapted remarkably and remained exceptionally placid. After a battle, the men would hold their horses, touch them, and show a high degree of emotional intimacy that they didn’t share with fellow humans.

The soldiers remained so attached to their horses that oftentimes, when the birch branches weren’t enough, the soldiers would share their ration of bread with the animal. There was mutual interdependence. The horses counted on their soldier for their care.

Have you ever experienced "Sagip" with a pet?

See results
Page one of my article
Page one of my article | Source

Pets Aren’t For Everyone

It must be mentioned however, that not everyone can be helped by pets. Some people are uncomfortable with pets and may feel anxious with a pet in the house. They may not be able to afford the cost of caring for the pet well. Also, the person may be so deeply depressed that he or she is simply incapable of giving the pet the care that it requires.

Page three of article. This is my dog, Winniechurchill. She was my Sagip.
Page three of article. This is my dog, Winniechurchill. She was my Sagip. | Source
Page two of article
Page two of article | Source

Bear in mind, however, that pets aren’t limited to cats, dogs and horses. Birds are less costly to care for and at the same time, they can be extremely loving. Also, maybe you aren’t the snuggling type. But having a turtle to care for can be a mood lifter. And studies indicate that looking at fish can calm you down and ease tension, according to Helpguide.org.

Chicken Love

Recently a neighbor moved to a rural area after living in the city most of her life. She found love from a most surprising source – a chicken. The chicken showed a surprising degree of personality and was highly entertaining. What’s more, in the afternoon when my friend and her husband would take their daily walks around the neighborhood, the chicken would follow them without even having to be leashed.

Date of issue
Date of issue | Source

I was rather surprised by this, so I googled chickens as pets. And guess what? If you want to keep your chicken indoors, there are YouTube videos that teach you how to make chicken diapers.

Chicken Diapers by Sky: Demo

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    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 8 months ago from Philippines

      Hi Alexadry, good to hear from you:). Yes, it really is a funny idea, but I would actually have a pet chicken with the diapers, if I were sure my dogs wouldn't attack it, haha.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 months ago from USA

      Oh my dog! diapers for chicken! Thanks for sharing this info, now my hubby has no excuse and we can let our chickens come spend some quality time inside with us. How fun would that be?

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 20 months ago from Philippines

      Hello LadyGuitarPicker, how wonderful of you to visit. I'm glad you enjoy the de-stressing quality of animals. In the same way, my husband takes his nap with the dog in his arms. Sometimes at night, the dog also helps me sleep. How wonderful that your dog is doing such wonderful work at a nursing home. Allow me to congratulate you and your dog for such kindness where it is needed.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 21 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I love my pets and I believe they make a big difference in our health. I love just to pet my dogs when the day has been stressful and I know the blood-pressure is high. They really do make me feel better. My dog visits at the nursing home and the patients love it. Great Hub.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 22 months ago from Philippines

      Hi emge, thank you for your kind words. Hi Sujaya, yes, it is a petite hub compared to more prolific writers. I love the word petite however:)

    • emge profile image

      Madan 22 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Its a lovely hub. Yes ! pets can make a world of a difference in life

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 23 months ago

      a petite hub

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Minhea, thank you for your very kind words:). It is a delight to meet you here on Hub Pages, and I appreciate your visit.

    • Mihnea Andreescu profile image

      Mihnea-Andrei Andreescu 2 years ago from Tilburg

      Wonderful article-very well documented and extremely well written.You have my respect for your amazing hubs.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi ChrisWillman99, thank you for visiting! True, pets have a way of softening our hearts and easing our tensions. In the afternoon my husband likes to sleep with Mocha in his arms, While I borrow Mocha at night. I hope you find a new pet. Nothing beats the love and companionship of a dog.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I've too read articles stemming from psychology how a pet can mentally and physically make you feel better and healthier. I found your article to be well written and interesting, and it made me long for the pets I used to have growing up.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks bdegiulio, yes, the horse part was really amazing, wasn't it? If ever there was an example in history of a pet being man's best friend, that would be it. Thank you for the visit. Nice to hear from you again)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mona. A wonderful hub. Our shih tzu has brought immense joy to our lives. The unconditional love of a pet is an amazing thing. Fascinating story on the horses in WWII. Very enjoyable hub.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Very nice to meet you here, Romanian. I know a couple who lived in Romania and they said there is a problem there with stray dogs. I read about the history of this dog problem, and it made me sad because some of the photos showed really cute street dogs. I'm sorry that your apartment doesn't allow pets. I wish you and your country well, its history has been hard for the people and the beloved pets that they had to leave behind.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      I live in an apartment and I can't keep a pet here, but I wish to buy one, one day. Animals make me feel good, I fell a lot of relaxation watching them.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you PStraubie 48. Animals are really lovely and animal lovers are especially lucky to know it:)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Your comment that pets are not for everybody was important to include in this article.

      But for those who would welcome a pet they can be life changing as you pointed out and as I know from personal experience. Voted up +++

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, Dream On. The connection between pets and people is so strong and it's amazing how they love us and are loyal to us and make our hearts burst with love. Talking to your pet is so therapeutic and sometimes we forget they can't really understand us. Today my dog Mocha got caught in some wood (he goes there all the time and needs to be rescued) and I was in the shower and I said, "Mocha I can't help you now, call Daddy." Then it occurred to me that i was talking in this way to a dog. It's so funny.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 2 years ago

      When I am having a bad day I talk to my cat constantly. Charlette gives me support and unconditional love. Even gets my mind off my troubles by acting up.I have had a cat named Daryl that is my avatar he is passed now but still influences me to this day. I would feel guilty if I left out other cats Whitey, baby and Flash who have all passed. Each have loved me when I was busy and had a long day. I constantly pat them and make them feel special. What a great hub and filled with so much knowledge. Thank you for reading and sharing. I also love the comments of all the animal lovers that have taken the time to share their story. Have a beautiful night.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Kenneth Avery, for such a nice comment:). I will remember that and will be working very hard on Hub Pages after such wonderful encouragement from you. By the way, I am 60 years old. The photo looks young cause I dye my hair and I took a topshot, holding the camera above:)

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Grand Old Lady (who is NOT old)

      You are one gifted writer, my friend, and I urge you to keep up the great work.

      You have touched a lot of lives.

      Have a safe night.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Kim, how wonderful that you enjoy caring for a menagerie of animals, and that your children are enjoying the company of animals, too. Pets can make your day. Sometimes my husband and I enjoy just talking about things they did and the different personalities of each pet. God bless you and have a wonderful day.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Congratulations on your publication! This is a topic that I wholeheartedly agree with. Why, just two weeks ago we rescued another stray and have brought it into what we jokingly call our menagerie. I have been blessed to have animals all my life and have instilled the love for them in all my children. Our pets can get us out of the darkest of places at times and I wouldn't know what to do without one. Kindest regards, Kim.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Maira818, yes, animals make us happier people and bring so much unconditional love into our loves. Just observing them can give us so much joy. Thank you for visiting and for such a pleasant comment:)

    • Maira818 profile image

      Maira818 2 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      I love animals, I love cats, dogs, horses, cows, birds, fish, and turtles. They are my favorite animals as pets. I love this hub because I think when you have love for animals, animals love you back. Thanks for sharing :)

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Imtii, thanks for the visit! Pigeons are also popular pets in the Philippines. I was shocked when one fellow told me he regularly exercises his pigeon, and the pigeon always comes back, just like you said. Sometimes, he would ride a jeep and the pigeon would follow him. So they are wonderful, bonding pets:)

    • imtii profile image

      Imtiaz Ahmed 3 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      I like your hub and I think you love pets also since you made a hub out of it grand old lady. Hope to see more hubs like this. I have a whole room a pigeon on the rooftop of our building. I have at least 60 of them me and my dad really love to feed them. And they don't go away.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Ologsinquito, yes, I totally agree with you there.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      Dogs are a lot of work, but they are so loyal, which makes all the work worth it.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Vespawoolf, and I enjoy your articles on food and health -- I so NEED to follow them. They are therapy too, after all).

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      I do believe in the therapy of pets! I didn't know there was a word for it, implying that a pet can absorb his owner's sickness. How nice! I enjoyed reading you well-written article.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      You have made a good point, Millionaire Tips. Just the structure alone that dogs give to our lives contributes to our health and wellbeing. It's not just the big things, but the little things daily that they do and require from us that enriches us.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on being published in a magazine. I have a dog and I can attest that he certainly makes me take care of myself by forcing me to go on walks, and he calms me down when I am stressed. He also keeps me on a normal schedule - I can't stay too late at the office because I have to come home and let him out.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Monis Mas, thank you for visiting. I'm glad that you found a richer life through pets. We are lucky, people like us. Don't you agree?

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Monis Mas, thank you for visiting. I'm glad that you found a richer life through pets. We are lucky, people like us. Don't you agree?

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      Awesome hub. Having pets definitely made my family's life richer.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you torrs13. Yes, it would be wonderful if pets could be used to help children in social services therapy. The love of a pet is unconditional, and a pet is totally accepting of its human. And, as you say, just sitting beside an animal and holding it can be a tremendously joyful experience.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      I work with kids in the social services system and I often wish that we could bring in animals to help with their therapy. I think that humans can make beautiful connections with animals and I truly believe that they can heal in ways we never thought possible. I know that I feel a ton of joy when I can just sit with an animal and pet it. I find myself drifting in thought and talking to it as though it knows what I'm talking about. Maybe deep down it does. Well written hub!

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Nadine May, that was a remarkable Cocker Spaniel you had. It's amazing how animals can have empathy, and some people will never have it. We can learn so much from animals.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I loved your post on this topic and totally believe in the healing due to taking care of animals. My three year old Cocker Spaniel came with me after my divorce and he was my only companion when I went into a recluse. A good friend came to stay with me for a few weeks when her husband had died due to a accident. Her children were not coping due to their mothers grief. It was my Cocker Spaniel who kept following her to the beach, and I'm sure he knew that without him she would walk into the sea never to return. He kept nudging her for attention,which he never did with anyone else.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Peggy W, I'm so glad that you have had the love and companionship of pets most of your life. Thank you for visiting, and for sharing this article:).

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Except for a few years of living on my own between living at home with my parents and then getting married, I have always been surrounded by pets. Very interesting article! Those stories in the magazine are heartwarming. Sharing with my followers.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      pstraubie48, thank you for the angels, I'm grabbing them! What wonderful experiences you and your family have had with dogs. I was near tears at the story of your sister and the pups from her son's dogs. God is good. I'm sending you and your loved ones good thoughts and prayers.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you for this lovely hub, Mona.

      yes I have experienced sajip and still am. I have been blessed to have several pets that have come into my life just when I needed them most. And my Milo who came to me a little over a year ago is one of those. He came to me when so much was happening in my life that my cup was overflowing. What a gift he is, everyday.

      and my sister who now has two dogs has experienced it as well...there is no doubt in my mind that she has been able to recover from her son's death last year (very sudden and unexpected) because of the pups. And they help her stay connected to her son because you see, they were her son's dogs

      Again thanks for this lovely sharing...

      Sharing and voted up ps

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Lady Guinevere, I'm so glad that you have had the constant experience of the love of pets. Animals are here for more purposes than just one, and the unique love and comfort they give to pet lovers is like none other. Thank you for visiting:)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I do not know if all that it true or not, but I could not live without a pet. I had a couple of goats that were like pets and they followed me everywhere. I also had chickens and ducks that would do the same thing.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      That's amazing, Alexadry:). Someone once told me (a student vet) that chickens have very small brains and feel little pain. But your chicken has proven this student vet wrong. I love the fact that your chicken knew how to do tricks:)

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      I would have loved to make a chicken my indoors pet. I wasn't aware of chicken diapers. She was very smart and I got her clicker training to walk around cones, push a ball with her beak and to come when called.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Mr. Avery:). I am very inspired by the fact that although you have these illnesses you can write, sometimes very humorous pieces and at other times, pieces of such depth. You make people laugh and you make them think, and nothing stops you. God bless you and thank you for the many readers you have who also been blessed by your writings, myself included.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      at 11:51 cdst, Thursday night, May 22

      Grand Old Lady,

      I checked and yes, that is my comment about having Fibromyalgia and Neurothopy. I do not know why my photo did not show up, but my name did show up. I signed with a K. because my hands hurt from typing.

      Glad to help.

      You have a peaceful day.

      Kenneth

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you BNayden for your kind words.:). Yes, pets are wonderful creatures to have in your home. They fill your days with love and do so many things to make you laugh.

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Wonderful hub here, I think that's so true about pets as I have known a couple people who seem to be much healthier and happier from having pets as companions. That's great you had your article published on this, it's written well...engaging and informative.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Oh, that's nice to know, Kenneth Avery. You know, a comedienne once told me that it takes more intelligence to be a comedienne than a dramatic actress. I guess it's because it takes creativity to create humor while an actress reads a script and emotes. But who am I to know? I ramble...

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, grandoldlady, (and you are not old)

      I just had to be honest about my love for animals. I have loved animals since I was four. Dogs, cats, a mule, turtles, fish, you name it. If its an animal, I love it. Even the dangerous animals. I leave them alone, but I love the fact that they fit into the great scheme of life.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Kenneth Avery, I was expecting a very funny answer from you, but instead got this serious comment about your cats and commitment to animal welfare. It was pleasant to see this side of you. Thanks for the visit and for your pleasant comment. Animal rights can only make our world better, and all people happier.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      grandoldlady (and you are not old),

      I pamper my cats as if they were children. I love animals of all types. I am against cosmetics companies testing on animals too. Any animal that is abused by mankind, well, the abuser should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

      Kenneth

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Anita Saran, it's great to know that you are a lover of animals as well:)

    • Anita Saran profile image

      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Lovely, useful hub! I am a firm believer in the love of pets too.

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      @ GrandOldLady,

      I am now 60 and I am old due to being diagnosed (in 2003) with Fibromyhalgia, Neurothopy, and now Thrombosclosis, are incurable, so I am happy in the state I am in because no matter of complaining will do me any good.

      I love my Maker, wife, grandkids, and cats who blessed me everyday.

      I am so glad to have met you on Hubs. I want you to visit my hubs and become a follower. That would make me very happy.

      God bless you.

      Peace.

      K.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Travmaj:). How lucky you are to have so many animals in your life, including cows and horses. It must be a wonderful life to have cows and horses along with all the other animals. I personally always wanted to ride a carabao (a water buffalo) and went to the province. I asked my uncle if I could ride one and he said, yes, but it never happened. Guess it was a rather difficult request because those carabaos can be nasty if they don't know you. Again, thanks so much.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      I enjoyed reading this great hub. I've had animals all my life, cats, dogs, cows, horses,,,all of them have contributed to our lives in the most positive ways. I can't imagine not having animals to share my life with. Thank you for a most interesting article.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Kenneth Avery. It's good to know a fellow animal lover:). It's also good to know there are five very lucky cats who are under your care. I will definitely visit you and read your hubs. I am actually old, gonna hit 60 this year. The photo was just a lucky shot as it didn't show the lines under my eyes and my hair was properly dyed. Lol.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      grand old lady,

      This is a fantastic hub. I loved it because I love animals, cats, to be specific. I own five cats and they make me calm, at-ease, and happy.

      I voted up and away on your story. Keep up the great work. And I just left you some sincere fan mail and following you.

      I invite you to check my works and follow me also.

      I will be looking for you and you ARE NOT old.

      Peace.

      K.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Very true, CraftytotheCore. Pets are awesome and we are so blessed that they are in our lives.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      This is all so very true. Having the dogs that we've rescued has just added so much benefit to our lives. They are always there no matter what to wag a tail or lick a hand.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Dolores Monet, what a wonderful story. Banjo was saved by you, and has paid it back by helping your family through hard times. True Sagip:)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Never much of a pet person, 4 years ago, we rescued a hurt kitten on a dark and stormy night. That poor little thing was terrified, only 5 weeks old and thrown out in the street. He has become the most wonderful pet. Who knew that a cat could be so loving! We've had a rough year and believe me when I say that our Banjo (that is his name) has been such a comfort!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Suzanne Day. Truly, pets deserve a major place in this world of ours.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Pets can alleviate loneliness too, which is why they can be so helpful in assisting people with depression and isolation. Lots of useful information here - voted useful!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      As a mother, we have three dogs and I'm often so glad they are dogs and not children, especially when they fight with each other. Dogs help us experience things we would not have experienced with real people, but the emotional consequence is more tolerable. I'm glad you had dogs as your "siblings." Unconditional love from dogs truly lightens the load of life. Thanks for visiting, Dis-cover.

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      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      I love animals so much, especially dogs. I have no brothers and sisters and when I was a kid I thought that the dogs from my yard are my brothers. They really provide an unconditional love. This article is full of warmth and you are excellent writter!

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, Alicia C. I'm so glad you have known what it's like to have the love of pets.

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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely hub, grand old lady. I love my pets and can completely understand how having an animal to care for can be therapeutic.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Eddy, and thanks for the visit. Hope you are having a wonderful day on your side of the globe, and that the weather is always good at Wales:)

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub and voted up. Interesting , awesome and useful.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I'm glad this helped you to remember your pets. Hope you can manage to adopt a new one:). Adopting an older dog is a wonderful experience of gratitude.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Pets are beautiful and help us out in the hardest of times they are certainly of great benefit to us. Your hub makes me think of my pets once had.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      CecillePortilla, there are some dog breeds that are good for people with allergies. Some examples are the Bichon Friese and the Schauzer. If you think you'd like a dog, you should google dogs for people with allergies and decide what you like. Good luck.

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      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Very interesting article. You are a very good writer. My husband and daughter are the pet lovers in this family. I stay away from animals due to my allergies. I see the interaction between family members and pets. They seem to get tremendous psychological benefits!

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Flourish Anyway. How old were your cats when you adopted them? I'll stop by your page to see if you ever wrote about them. Hope you posted pictures. Cats rock!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your publications. My cats certainly have helped me through tough times with my health. They are each rescues, and I like to think that in turn they have rescued me.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Rebeccamealy, true, it is so much better to take in a shelter dog than to spend money on a pedigree. A dog is a dog is a dog, and they all have this amazing capability to love and to save us.

      Faith Reaper, thank you for tweeting and pinning:). Yes, dogs and all pets have this amazing ability to touch us in so many special ways.

      Ms. Dora, I was also surprised at the part about the stories. It amazed me that the author of the book Valkyrie was so impressed with the relationship of soldiers and their horses at war that he devoted an entire chapter to it.

      Heidithorne, true, pet ownership is a commitment that should go both ways, so we shouldn't take on a pet if we aren't meant for it, neither should pets be given away as gifts unless the owner is forewarned and is asked whether or not the pet is wanted. Responsible pet ownership is part of loving the pet and giving back.

      Cel, that is an amazing story about Peso. I hope I can meet you and Peso personally rather than just through Hub Pages, FB and blogs. I want to meet the woman who pioneered true love and care for askals. Also, would love to see photos of MAC, pls. post them on FB:)

      Jackie Lynnley, my condolence for your sad loss of your cat of 20 years. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care, and be strong.

      Sallieannluvslife, true, our pets are God's angels on earth. I'm glad you can see through your black dog's disguise and know that she is really your angel:).

      Billybuc, you had me laughing in stitches. I guess it's easier to love chickens outdoors with their own barn, than to put diapers on six chickens so they can walk around the house.

      Ericdierker, thank you for sending your love to Betty and Benny. I will surely inform them of this. You have a wonderful idea about an organization that will handle pet care, but allow those who need their love to be able to avail of it. Your sister in law is truly awesome in her allowing dogs to be therapy for retirement homes and a teaching tool for preschoolers.

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      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I agree that pets are awesome for your health. I would NEVER buy a pedigree dog with so many sweet babies in shelters needing homes, though. It has been my experience that mixed dogs are generally healthier and smarter than purebreds. Nice article!

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful hub! I do believe our pets provide that unconditional love and improve our health. I know they sometimes use dogs in nursing home facilities for the persons living there and their outlook has improved. Congrats on your article being published in the magazine. Awesome!

      Up and more, tweeting and pinning

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great benefits. Especially surprised by the help from the horses during war. Thank you for sharing even from your own experience with the dog.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Beautiful discussion of the topic! Agreed, the health benefits of pets are many. But I'm glad you also included the advice that pets aren't for everyone. While they do provide us with so much, they do require an extensive amount of investment in time, money and effort.

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      Maria Cecilia 3 years ago from Philippines

      Mona, so true... when my mother was still alive, I had one experience with Peso that I cannot forget,it was 1 to 2 am. my cousin and I were rushing mom to a hospital via my cousin's tricycle, Peso went out of the house running after us, barking....mom was catching her breath, while Peso still running after us at a national road already, I was worrying about my mother but at the same time worrying about Peso, my cousin stopped the tricycle and let peso ride, panicky peso was so like human worrying about mom, he licked her face endlessly and mom got annoyed and told peso to stop licking her face, I would like to believe she was revived instantly because of peso's kisses hahha, we reached the hospital, mom was sent to the emergency room, I can hear Peso barking out side, when he had the chance, he entered the hospital and searched mom in the emergency room, lucky that night only mom was at the emergency room, and the kind doctors told me to bring Peso home, while mom was having treatment (nebulized) then I can go back to get mom coz she will be ok after the treatment.. I posted that story here for Mothers day. and my latest dog MAC, he is another miracle for me... Last year I had a tough time in the office, i will tell you someday.... I was so down I decided not to go home and stayed in the office just sitting at my chair and table, I had my ipad and wifi with me so i was on line at FB (FB is forbidden at our office) I felt hopeless, that I wished I can afford to live without my job, then suddenly one friend I met online because of dogs, chat with me, reminding me of her invitation for her dog's birthday, then she told me she really wanted me to come because she will give me a puppy, though I was hesitant at first, I asked are you sure? the puppy has a better future with you (she's from a well off family and I can see what she can afford) I am not rich, at times I need to apply for a loan in order to bring dogs to vet, she just said I trust you, and I felt better Mona, I don't know at that time I felt the Lord using this person to let me know my life is not hopeless and if some people are turning me down, there are better people who believe in me, and most of all that feeling that the Lord was with you at that very moment.... I really cried, felt like my heart was touched by someone divine...so I got MAC, a bundle of joy, not only to me but to my cousins and auntie who take care of him when I am at work. My cousin is almost 60 and my auntie is in 80's something I think....Both have kidney ailments.... they may not afford complete medications, they survived life with prayers and healthy living, and now with MAC that makes them laugh everyday..and when I see MAC I always remember how God sent me another angel in disguise...

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My cat that was almost 20 years old died last summer I really have missed her so. She has been my company many times when I needed another opinion. (lol) Great subject to write on. ^

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      Angela Joseph 3 years ago from Florida

      This is an awesome hub! I've heard of people becoming attached to their chickens, but not using them as pets. Also, the information about the soldiers and their horses is especially interesting. Voted up, awesome and sharing.

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      sallieannluvslife 3 years ago from Eastern Shore

      I love this hub! I totally believe that animals were given to us as special gifts from God to be able to get through this thing called life and help us to understand love, loyalty, friendship and peace. I have always called our dog, Maddie, my little black angel. Her eyes defy her doggieness and I tell her she's not fooling me at all - I know she is an angel sent to our family right from God Himself.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, we have six chickens, but I don't see me ever putting diapers on them. LOL Still, an interesting article and well-written. I do love our pets.

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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are really an excellent writer. And you made this hub very presentable. Please, for those who still suffer, write more on this topic. Betty and Benny get my love.

      I think we need an organization that provides for pets in homes where the pet is needed but ability to take care of it is limited. Not just visits. My sister in law takes her dogs to preschools and retirement homes. It is awesome.