Sadly, there is an increasing number of people in society who never enjoy being the object of another’s attention or interest. For one reason or another they live unto themselves. They may be shy or self-conscious, or they may have developed a distrusting spirit for people. Whatever the reason, aside from work and shopping, they have become virtual hermits in society.
Such circumstances do not eliminate the basic need we all have to feel that we are loved and needed. Whether our loner status is the result of being shunned by society or a self-imposed moratorium toward gregarious behavior, the need to feel important remains and there needs to be an accommodation of this need in our lives.
Enter the beloved pet. For those who cannot or will not develop human bonds, there is the alternative of pet friendship. Of course, keeping a pet is something anyone can enjoy. Great relationships with pets are enjoyed by everyone. Still, somehow for those who are lonely for human companionship, it seems they cling more closely to their pets than those of us who balance our lives with both human and animal friends. The pet is all they have. All of their social need is vested in their relationship with that pet.
In all probability, we all know someone like this. To some they may seem odd, almost anti-social. However, it is nothing more than someone trying to fill the basic desire they have for friendship or companionship. No doubt they would prefer to also have human relationships, but again, for whatever reasons, this just is not likely.
A young lady who worked for me while I was on active duty is a good example of this. She was relatively attractive and a nice person. She was a hard worker and did a good job. She was well-liked and friendly. However, she just could not seem to forge a relationship with others. She did not date and she did not have friends outside of work.
She funneled her need for companionship into her pets. She kept cats. In fact, she had nine of them. Her whole life apart from work centered on her animal friends. Her time and money was spent making their lives comfortable. In turn, they made her feel that she was needed and appreciated.
Although one of my majors was Psychology, I am not a licensed practitioner and I do not suppose to have all the answers to anti-social behavior. Still, common sense and experience tells me that people who have difficulty relating to people seldom will change their outlook without professional guidance.
For these people and really for the rest of us too, those animals we label “pets” are God-sends. Much has been written about the courageous and valor of these wonderful creatures who have graced us by walking alongside us through history. There are stories of heroism and bravery, of perseverance and strength. We immortalize our pets with statues and memorials and capture their contributions in song and literature.
They are marvelous creatures at those celebrated levels, but they also fill the gaps and voids in uncelebrated ways. They companion the unwanted. They befriend those that no one else wants. They are everywhere, silently doing their jobs, making those who feel unloved, loved and adding importance to their lives.
These animal shelters have been created to deal with the many animals and pets that are discarded once their human owners have gotten tired of having them around. The trained staff at the animal shelter will look after the animals that are found on the streets. Their health will be seen to by the vets at the animal shelter and once they have been checked out health wise, they will be cleaned up and groomed.
As most of these animals are bewildered by the various circumstances that have befallen them, they are for the most part timid and accepting of the care and good food that is provided. While these immediate needs are seen to an animal shelter is not a place where an animal must spend the entire lives.
One of the key requirements that are found in an animal shelter is a place where the various large sized animals like dogs can stretch their muscles and have some exercise. For the smaller animals there large cages that have exercise toys and environmental designs.
There will be a full time animal vet who will look after the medical health needs of the animals in the animal shelter. In addition to the presence of a vet there will other members of the animal shelter staff who will see to the happiness of these animals.
The staff will also make sure anyone who wants to adopt these animals is proven to be ready for the full responsibility of their care. This care includes seeing to the food, toys, medical and health requirements of the pets. In addition the happiness, emotional and mental conditions of the pets need to be addressed.
Once all of these concerns have been thought of and carefully considered the new adoptive family may take their new family member home for a trial time period. After the animals happiness is assured the animal shelter staff will allow the animal to go to its new homes. These are the services that animal shelters provide to the many animals that are in need of a loving family.