ANIMALS MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER
It is a scientific fact that for most people having a pet has beneficial effects upon their physiological well being. For example numerous studies have shown that patients recovering from heart surgery experience a lowering of hypertension (high blood pressure) when stroking a dog. I personally have always been fond of dogs and have enjoyed the company of many over the years. But what about the people who can not be close to dogs or cats because they suffer from allergic reactions? Whilst researching my book ‘Animals Make You Feel Better’ I met just such an individual and this is her story.
Lois J. Barin is allergic to dogs, cats, horses, tree pollen, weeds, and hamsters. Whenever Lois comes into contact with any of these, she begins to sneeze, her eyes run, and breathing becomes difficult. Her consultant allergist has told her to have no contact with any of the above.
Lois is quite content to stay away from, horses, dogs, cats, and of course weeds. But she simply can’t resist hamsters. You see, hamsters make her happy.
From fishy stare to furry friend
It all began in the year of 1979. Lois knew she was allergic to many things, including most pets, but she just loves animals. She had to have a little friend to care for. Having tried befriending a goldfish and getting nothing but a few bubbles and the odd fishy stare through the side of the tank, Lois reconsidered. Dogs and cats were out of the question. They would shed hair all over the house, reducing Lois to a coughing, sneezing wreck. What she needed was a much smaller creature, one that could be controlled within a small area. A friend suggested hamsters. As soon as Lois held one in her hand she fell in love.
Her first furry pet was a long-haired hamster she called Bear. It wasn’t really like a bear – much smaller! But it was very brave and would nibble even the biggest nut. Lois was captivated by this friendly little thing. Bear had so much personality and seemed to like entertaining Lois with funny tricks, running on its exercise wheel and hopping up and down the cage. To Lois, Bear seemed to be trying his little best to amuse, and in return she cared for the tiny creature.
This was the start of Lois’s long love affair with hamsters. When she told her allergist, he was not amused, to put it mildly. However, it was too late. Lois was hooked on hamsters.
A hamster’s degree
Over the next twelve years Lois looked after Bear and a succession of hamsters. She placed the cage near to the table holding her computer. As she worked away, writing her thesis for a Master’s degree, her little pal would shuffle about, and whenever Lois looked at her pet, she felt relaxed. The sight of her funny furry friend going about its daily life brought joy into her heart. Often she would stop writing and feed her hamster pal a treat. The pleasure of watching it nibbling away cleared Lois’s mind and filled her with peace and the strength to continue her demanding work.
Then on the very day she was to present her Master’s thesis to the board of examiners at Ohio State University, her latest hamster, a fluffy thing called the Grinch, died. The cage stood empty at the side of her desk; the little wheel that Grinch had loved to run upon was still. The silence in the room seemed to surround Lois. In that silence she remembered the happy hamster that she had loved and cared for. Then she began to sneeze.
Maybe it was the pollen in the air, maybe a nervous reaction to the sad loss of her pet. Whatever it was, Lois sniffled, coughed, and wheezed her way through the examination by the university professors. Despite this, she passed with flying colours.
Later that day, Lois went to see her allergist. When she told him about the death of the Grinch, far from sharing her sorrow, he seemed pleased. “No more animals!” he said , and made Lois promise, “No more hamsters.” But it was a promise she was destined not to keep.
Just a little one
A few years later, Lois began studying for a PhD. She knew this would be hard work, made harder by the fact that she had no little furry friend to watch as she worked away each night on her computer. Still, if she wanted to achieve her goal, then work she must. The days were all right; she could see the squirrels and an occasional chipmunk climbing the trees outside her window from her desk. But the nights were lonely. There was an empty space where once the happy hamsters had played.
It was January, the cold winds blew through the deserted streets, and even the interior of Ohio State University seemed frozen. In the canteen Lois sat sipping a cup of tea with a group of her colleagues. She listened in horror as one lady told the group that her daughter’s hamster had given birth again. “I hope the dog doesn’t eat this one,” she said.
“What!” cried Lois, outraged. “Your dog ate a baby hamster?”
“Why don’t you take the hamster?” her friend said.
In a flash, Lois agreed. It might not please her allergist, but she couldn’t let a lovely little furry baby get eaten by a great hungry hound.
That night she went round and collected it. The newborn hamster was no bigger than one of Lois’s thumbs. As it nestled in the palm of her hand, she fell in love again.
Lois named her new pet Itsy Bit, because she was just an itsy-bitsy little thing. Back home she washed out the cage and cleaned everything so that it sparkled. Itsy Bit soon made herself at home and Lois placed the cag where it had stood before, next to her desk. As she sat, watching that tiny creature tunneling into the wood chips and nibbling at the treats she had placed in the cage, she felt so much better. It was as if her home was complete now.
From then on, Lois would often stop working and gaze at Itsy Bit as she played on her wheel or hopped around the cage making her little bed. Just watching this hamster brings happiness to Lois. She feels that they are both together, working hopefully, travelling forever forward toward some unseen goal. With Itsy Bit by her side, Lois knows that she has a friend on a long journey of self-discovery. And in this often difficult life the unselfish love of a true friend is something to be treasured above gold.
(Author’s Note: Lois J. Barin continued with her studies and gained her Ph.D at Ohio State University in the city of Columbus. She is now Dr. Lois thanks to her little pal Itsy Bit and a lot of hard work).
Itsy Bit the happy hamster and her wonderful story had further beneficial effects as following the research Lois J. Barin and I became internet friends exchanging emails over many months. Then when I was invited to appear on Network USA TV for Fox News in New York Lois and her husband Professor Kamran Barin drove there from Columbus Ohio to meet me and my wife Mary. Along with Lois came her father the scientist Lewis J. Schwartzkopf and his wife Maria. It was quite a party and all thanks to a little hamster called Itsy Bit.
You can purchase a paperback copy of my book ‘Animals Make You Feel Better’ on Amazon or perhaps try ‘Paranormal Pets’ on Amazon Kindle an E-Book. You can read more of my work on the internet at WWW.Psychicworld.net I am John G. Sutton and a private psychic consultation with me can be booked on my website.