Holding an animal close definitely bestows its own form of healing (right between, say, an aspirin and a hot fudge sundae). Caring for animals has long been a form of therapy for recovering humans, and the assistance of animals can help people overcome challenges from blindness to PTSD. Imagine what life would be like if we all made a point of hugging a member of another species every day! We can draw straws on the porcupine.
This Nuremberg zookeeper introducing a polar bear cub to his enclosure looks like he’s sending his kid off to kindergarten.