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When a pet owner


shares experiences with a beloved animal, the joy they receive from


their pet on a daily basis radiates from them.


Unfortunately, as we age, so do our


animals. You may come to the point that when your animals pass, you see the opportunity to break free of the constraints, rid yourself of the pet hair, or have concerns about your ability to care for a new, younger animal. It’s pretty clear that while living animal-free at an advanced age may be tempting, the health benefits provided by animals are most significant to us as we age. Adopting a new animal can be


challenging at any age, but especially for the elderly. In several cities throughout the United States, animal shelters have started programs pairing shelter animals with seniors who may have given up on the thought of having pets after their aged companion passes away. In a lot of cases, pairing older pets with seniors has proved to be beneficial. These older pets tend to be calmer than their younger counterparts and the costs associated with initial vaccinations and neutering are no longer a concern. These adoptions can be life saving for both the pet and the owner. Aside from the health benefits, one of


the greatest gifts a pet gives its owner is joy. When a pet owner shares experiences with a beloved animal, the joy they receive from their pet on a daily basis radiates from them. The joy could come from comical personalities and behaviors, affectionate mannerisms, or even just the knowledge that it is nice to be needed. Finding joy is one of our major


quests in life. As humans, much of our joy is found in, among other things, companionship, health, and security. Our furry and feathered loved ones definitely do their part to help provide us with this joy and the research definitively shows that our pets are good for our hearts in more ways than one. H


66 July/August 2017


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