While they are undeniable antidotes to loneliness and stress, pets are also true givers of … life lessons. As long as you observe them carefully and love them for what they are.
The unwavering loyalty of the dog, the proud sensuality of the cat, the hypersensitivity of the horse, the unalterable impassibility of the goldfish … Overbidding in the choice of epithets is the rule in the world of pets. A universe in which narcissistic projections, love of nature and empirical knowledge coexist with more or less excess.
Contrary to popular belief that associates a pet with a single person, the homes of at least three people welcome dogs and cats. The main motivation? Love of animals, say with one voice 60% of owners surveyed. But also the pleasure of having company and taking care of it. Childhood development is also a significant argument, put forward by 70% of "adopting" families. Three-quarters of those questioned insist on the "social role" of the companion animal, creator of bonds, active agent against loneliness and unanimously recognized anti-stress.
"It cannot be denied that there is a significant narcissistic investment in the relationship with the pet," notes Isabelle Bianchi, psychologist. The owner often evokes the peculiarity of his animal, its ability to react to a particular situation, to anticipate certain requests. The talk mostly revolves around the uniqueness of your dog or cat, and this is common among people who have trouble talking about themselves. "
His key word: sociability. Both affectionate and respectful of the hierarchy, he knows how to observe those around him before establishing personalized relationships with each of the occupants of his territory.
Owner of dachshund or labrador, same fight. Despite the diversity of their motivations, canine owners share the same attraction for hierarchy (for the dog, the master is his pack leader) and loyal relationships (despite possible mistreatment, the dog can remain subject to his master. ). While men maintain a dominant relationship with their dog, and often choose a large size, women prefer an animal that can be taken under the arm, and tend to mother it. Dog owners especially appreciate his emotional adaptability, as well as his ability to display unconditional affection.
Observe before entering into a relationship. Its qualities are essentially relational. Observer, empathetic, he strongly feels the fear and pleasure of humans. Placed in a new environment, the dog remains in an observation position for a fortnight, the time to integrate the hierarchical and territorial functioning of his entourage: who is the leader, who feeds, who plays. Once this information is digested, the dog develops a personalized relationship with each of the occupants of its territory. Its specificity: reaching out to everyone but taking into account the hierarchy. With the exception of moments of play, where he allows himself to jostle her before resuming his place. A model of sociability.
Its key word: the right distance. This hypersensitive independent knows how to distill the marks of affection, just the right amount …
The cliché of the cat lover, both esthete and lonely, is not entirely wrong. The cat is a territorial animal more than a social one. To live in harmony with him, his master must respect his territory and his rhythm of life, which outlines the profile of a master who is non-intrusive and more inclined towards contemplation than towards action. The moments of emotional and tactile exchanges, generally chosen by the cat, make its owner an individual concerned with respecting the needs of others and firmly determined to defend his own.
Live and let live. Knowing his needs, choosing what suits him best: the cat has no equal when it comes to scenting for the best, wherever he is. To the point that some underline his selfishness. In reality, the cat is a hypersensitive whose attachment capacities, although unspectacular at first glance, make him a faithful companion, present and calming. However, he knows how to show his affection with small touches of voluptuous tenderness. “Neither too close nor too far” could be his motto. A real lesson in emotional balance.