When picking out a new item of furniture for the home, there is much to consider. Unless someone is shopping for show pieces which are not comfortable to utilize, size and comfort weighs heavy in the decision. Reclining chairs are among the most personal of purchases, as let’s face it, we tend to spend lots of time in them. So when Aleecia Dahl’s grandparents were in the market for some new furniture, grandpa went shopping for a favorite chair–his very personal item which needed to be replaced, .but he wasn’t alone. According to an article on The Dodo, this grandpa brought his little fluffy friend, Coco, to be sure that the new recliner would be a perfect fit for her too. It was important to him that the little doggie be able to climb up and have plenty of room to sit beside him in his new chair. Believe it or not, the footrest is a major concern. For this grandfather, having enough room for Coco to sidle up beside him at the end of the chair was a strict requirement.
Not too many pet parents take the dog shopping at the furniture store. Sure, they consider their pets when it comes to dog or cat hair on the sofa, or stain protection, but how about how comfortable it will be for the little gal or fella? The best way to be sure is to take the pet with you to “test drive” a few pieces. Now, some people would never bring a dog out shopping, and unless the dog is a certified emotional support or therapy dog, this might not work well in most furniture stores. Besides the “no pet” policy, some merchants might be afraid that their display models will end up covered in dog hair. During the shopping trip outlined in the above article, however, the store was most welcoming, as seen in the photos.
Funny thing is, this grandpa, like many passionate pet owners, never knew what they were missing until they got a pet. Individuals who don’t consider themselves a dog or cat person finds themselves melting when they see those big, trusting eyes looking up at them. They become a “pet person”, and take the animal everywhere they go. It’s not just dogs and cats either. Many a pet friendly cafe patio has seen ferrets and even iguanas on a leash, blithely dozing under the table while the patrons dine.
Pets are not only fun to have around, they are also good for your health. Especially for senior citizens who no longer have the responsibilities of raising young children or going to a job each day. This new retired lifestyle can lead to feelings of loss of purpose or in many cases, extreme loneliness. Websites of such organizations such as Pets for the Elderly highlight the symbiotic relationship between pets and the elderly. So many wonderful animals need homes, and so many senior citizens benefit from the love and companionship of a pet. According to research published on the website, it’s not just our moods that benefit from having a furry companion, (although that is a featured benefit). Scientific studies linked on Pets for the Elderly. Org, include a study from the American Heart Association, details how an Australian study showed a decrease in blood pressure and overall circulatory health for those who interact with a pet on a regular basis.
For those who live in a skilled nursing facility or another housing situation where owning a pet is not an option, pet assisted therapy and/or friendly visits from well behaved and trained dogs and cats are becoming more popular. An article on the Psychology Today website highlights that those who suffer from PTSD, Bereavement, and long term challenges such as Aspergers can see dramatic results from being able to bond with an animal in a therapeutic setting. For those who have lost their faith in, or are hesitant to trust other people can take the first step forward by approaching a pet who is not emotionally complicated and can give and receive unconditional love.
Even inmates incarcerated in prison have taken advantage to the pet oriented programs offered within the facility. Shows like “Pitbulls and Parolees” show how both dogs and humans can bond while they both make the most of a second chance at life. Humans and dogs have had a special relationship from the beginning of time, where a man or women relied on their bonded animal for protection or assistance in hunting game. Seems now we are recognizing that the pet does not have to be engaged in some practical “service” to be of service to mankind. The value of a loyal animal that a person can talk to, sit next to, and pet is beyond compare. Even “macho” men who were conditioned to not be “soft” find cuddles with a furry friend to good to miss out on in their golden years.
Over the last few decades, thoughts are changing about the role of pets in our lives. During the 1950s, the family pet was often left outside in the doghouse or treated as a mere companion for the kids. The exception being sentimental shows like “Lassie” showing the trope of “a boy and his dog”. Now partly due to an increase in animal rights awareness, and partly due to research, the important role of pets in our lives is taking center stage.
In the past, with the exception of rich ladies with pampered pooches peeking out from handbags or “Seeing Eye Dogs” (Guide Dogs for the Visually Impaired) , encountering a dog in a store or restaurant was quite a novelty. Now, it’s not at all unusual to see not only more owners parading their pets in public, but more establishment welcoming them with a smile, a handshake, and even a treat. As society evolved and gets with the “pet benefits” program, more grandpas will be shopping for easy chairs with a pet in tow.