Sitting on my front porch holding one of my many cats, I decided to put to the test what Kerry Pechter had to say about “Pet Therapy” (110). I have already read her essay, “Pet Therapy for Heart and Soul” at least three other times prior to this sitting, but I am more relaxed this time and understand it better that I have any other time. I think that it is because I have the comfort of having my loving, faithful friend sitting here with me. In her essay she talks about pets and the health and well-being of humans. She claims that, “Pet animals, in short, may affect our health” (111). Pechter even describes how pets may help us live longer. I am a pet-love to all ends, before reading this I didn’t really think too much about it when I would talk to my animals, or just hold them to calm myself when I get upset. Now it has put a new appreciation in my heart for my pets and all animals. Pechter describes in the first six paragraphs of her essay, the relationship between elderly people in a nursing home and the pets the home has adopted. I think that this opens our minds to what she has to say. Even to people who may not like animals, helping elderly people find happiness and comfort in their later years touches many hearts on a personal level. Most people have an elderly person in their lives that they care about, whether it be a grandparent, parent, aunt, or uncle. I can’t really relate to what the elderly people feel when the animals are around, or how well the animals help those in a nursing home; however, I can relate well when Petcher says, “Pets typically influence the communication that goes on between family members in a normal household” (111). In my family there are a lot of strains and communication barriers. This was the basis for another personal test of what Pechter had to say. I went into my kitchen earlier this evening to attempt a conversation with my parents about some decision I have recently made. The conversation got very awkward...
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