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Is it important to be in the presence of other animals?

Is it important to allow other animals to share the home and to look after them? Or should there be a place to go to interact with animals? How often should we be with animals?

I find it very therapeutic being in the company of another creature. When I was a teen, I used to spend my time with horses. Unfortunately, I suffered depression and I would struggle to get out of bed and the home. When I did, the stables was the first place to go. Everyone commented how different I was when I returned home or went out to see people; Calmer, happier and more energetic.

When I moved into my new home, I desperately wanted (want) a dog but unfortunately due to spending too much time at work, I cannot. So I got a goldfish. I find it comforting to watch and it's a little character! A couple of water snails have appeared too as they took a ride with the aquatic plant and I like them too.

Do you think animals should be allowed to be in the work place i.e. bring your pet to work? In the UK, there is a high of dogs needing to be rehomed. Do you think it would combat the problem?

And one final question, is there an appreciation to working animals? Such as police dogs and horses.

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    Sep 10 2011: Lucy, I think your question has to be answered with "it depends". For some people, having an animal close certainly is a positive experience (I include myself in this group because I had pets my whole life).
    On the other hand, there are people who don't like pets, for whatever reason that might be.
    Allowing pets in the workplace seems to be problematic for a number of reasons (maybe with the exception of a fishtank), so I certainly wouldn't advocate that, although, Google for example seems to allow pets at work as far as I remember.
  • Sep 10 2011: I think animals do help people to be happy and they help to deal with stress. It is interesting that dogs can sense their owner's mood and react to it.

    Some companies allowed pets in their workplace. Typically I see employees having fish tanks but occasionally it is even a small dog.