Second Chance: Pets & Human Mood Monitors

Second Chance: Pets & Human Mood Monitors



For today’s Second Chance Pet Column I wanted to share a great article by Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. Her story really resonated with one of my purposes in life: mirroring the people around me. It highlighted one of the critical elements of the human-animal bond and I believe it’s a very worthy read…

“Most of us aspire to be better people. We pray, we meditate, we go to therapy, and we volunteer for good causes. There are retreats, high-priced courses, and loads and loads of books. Self-improvement is an $11-billion-a-year business. We are either very eager to be better people or we are very insecure – maybe both!

“A lot of this thriving business grows out of the fact that honest self-assessment is almost impossible. How do you step outside of yourself to look objectively within? It is, by definition, a self-centered and self-defeating activity.

“OK, so what if I told you that I had this amazing solution that could provide unerring, real time feedback about you … something that could help you take control of your life with real time responses and empower you to make choices that align with your personal goals.

“If you behave in keeping with your preferred self, this solution provides immediate positive feedback. If you behave like a jerk, this will let you know immediately. If you really want to realize the better you, this is it.  So what is it?  I’m talking about animals. Yup, dogs and cats.

“There is more to the relationship that we enjoy with our household pets than a sentimental connection with a critter who seems to love us despite our faults. Our relationship to our animal companions is deep and powerful – something very profound – and it is important for us to be aware of it even if we will never entirely understand it.

“These friends of ours have the potential to bring out the best in us. They hold up a mirror to us that, if we are willing to look, tells us what kind of a person we are as opposed to who we would like to believe that we are. If you want honest feedback about yourself, look to your dog or your cat.  So how does this work?

“Animals react adversely to the things in ourselves that we don’t like – the anger, impatience, aggression, etc., the stressors that we allow to intrude into our relationships and family life and rob us of a sense of personal satisfaction and self-control. Likewise, they respond positively to, and reinforce, all the qualities that our “better selves” value – kindness, compassion, patience, quietude, understanding and a willingness to listen.

“Anytime I’m not in tune with them, then I know that I am out of tune – period.”  

So I would encourage you to test this out for yourself. Pay attention to how your pets react to your different moods. Let them be your mood monitors toward a happier healthier you!



Don’t have a mood monitor?  It just so happens that I am looking for some moods to monitor. Come visit Second Chance today and ask for Sir Pouncealot (the one with the huge gentle soul).  The past year has been rough for me; my mood monitoring capabilities, neglected and ignored. To put it gently, I was living in an environment that certainly kept me from feeling loved.  I look forward to a much better life from here on out.

And so do I!  My name is Macho  and not because I am an emotionally withdrawn bully, but because I enjoy the “classical” music of the Village People… and I too have had my heart hurt by humans and am ready to give and receive lifelong devotion.

This Valentine week, please open your hearts to Pounce and me.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

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