Remembering the Human Animal Bond

“Sitting at home, trying to recover from injury… Ah—I am reminded how much pets matter!”


Sitting at home, trying to recover from injury… Ah – I am reminded how much pets matter! Thursday I tore my meniscus (cartilage in my knee) to the point of it being flipped into the joint preventing extension of the leg…or there is a huge amount of swelling. (We’ll know more in a few days.) As I cannot walk, I am lying here — something I don’t do much of— and the dog is staring at me. She likely loves the company. I know I appreciate having her. I find myself talking to her, “Daisy, I cannot take you for a walk. Daisy, do think that’s a funny video? Daisy, don’t bark at the deer in the back yard.” She just looks back at me as if patiently waiting for me to fulfill her whims, yet nothing happens except staring in each other’s eyes. I start the 15-minute process to the bathroom. I drop my crutch. She runs to it as if she wants to pick it up, but all 8 pounds of her cannot do much except sniff it. Later she snuggles into the blanket next to me, her warmth comforting. I now truly see what I thought I understood before – the human animal bond. Words cannot fully express how much pets matter. It’s like one of my other favorite sayings, ‘Pets Make People Human.’ I have new admiration for the role pets play in people’s lives. I am glad that I as a veterinarian can impact the health of patients and thus helping not only the patient but the relationship with the owner, improving people’s and community’s lives. Some may call that a stretch, but when one considers the potential for zoonotic disease, prevention really matters.

And back to this snuggling dog… she really should be called ‘Sedative’ as she functions well in that manner. I think of the elderly, sick, and some disabled – the amount of time they spend with their pet is regularly much more. I care and want to help all pets, but the impact of disease is greater on the human animal bond for people in those situations. Although I am unhappy to be sitting here, no longer independent – I am glad to spend more time with my ‘sedative’ dog and am a bit envious of those that are able to spend so much time with their pet. Granted – I get to spend a lot of time with many pets, something I greatly appreciate in my career.
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From Animal Dentistry Referral Services, 1326 Sunset Drive, Norwalk, IA, 50211