Joe Sinclair's dog Betsy

In troubled times, our pets help us to endure

We are living in very uncertain times. Many people are trying to cope with high stress issues that can negatively impact their family and their health. In times like this, pets can really help to bring a bright spot in the life of their masters. Speaking as a pet owner myself, my wife and I are very fortunate to have a small Boston terrier named Betsy.

When situations in life become stressful for us, Betsy seems to have a way of soothing our nerves and helping us to relax and temporarily get our minds off life’s pressures. In fact, the truth is that our little Betsy rules our household. We have spoiled her to the point that she usually gets her way when it comes to finding a warm lap to sleep on or to successfully beg for a treat from her doggie food drawer.

When we leave the house and have to leave her behind for a few minutes, her face drops with those sad eyes looking at us as we depart, putting us on a real guilt trip for leaving her. All is forgiven when we return and she joyfully greets us at the door and wants us to play with her — after rewarding her with a treat, of course.

When we are drawn to the events of the troubled world on the newscasts, we can feel ourselves tensing up with stress. However, leave it to little Betsy to appear at our feet, holding her toy bone in her mouth, begging us to play with her. She has a way of distracting us from a moment of stress to creating moments of joy when we play with her and ignore the news at that time.

Betsy has no knowledge of the deadly virus and all of the troubles associated with it. Betsy has her own little secure world. All she asks for is a warm bed, water, food and masters who love her and provide the attention that she constantly needs. Her little world inside the house is predictable and her only noticeable stress occurs when something in the house or in the yard seems out of place.

If that happens, she gives us a warning bark indicating that something is not right with her. When we praise her and let her know it is OK, she is once again content and goes about her playfulness. It is amazing to observe the behavior of our pets. They seem to have a built-in radar to detect when their masters need a positive boost, and they usually have a way of making it happen.

We all need to appreciate and take care of our pets because they certainly have a way of taking care of us — in their own way!

Joe Sinclair


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