Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cuddling Critters by Alicia Street

I love animals and when the fall and winter holidays start rolling in, I like warm and fuzzy elements in my romance reading.

I grew up in a family of six with lots of pets, and to this day my creature friends are important family members. My nineteen-year-old cat recently passed away, and although I know the little old guy needed to make an exit, after all those years together I can’t help selfishly wishing he were still here with me.

Pets and romance are a great match because animals have a way of opening our hearts. They touch the part of us where love happens. They’re also good for our health.

Research shows that hanging out with a critter is good for both mental and physical well-being. It increases your level of the hormone oxytocin, which reduces stress and makes you feel happier. Petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and produce an antibody that improves the immune system.

Aside from the highly trained service dogs that work with wounded veterans and handicapped individuals, the use of therapy dogs—untrained pets that are tested for behavior and handling—do wonders in nursing homes, hospitals, mental health centers, and other places where unconditional TLC is needed.

I recently wrote a novella for the Christmas Pets and Kisses multi-author boxed set that features a dog whose loving nature brings healing and change to a family—not to mention an unexpected romance.

Does your pet make you feel better?


 Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author    
and a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. 
A compulsive reader of every genre,
she writes both sweet and steamy romance.
She spent many years as a dancer,
choreographer and teacher. 
You can connect with Alicia 
at her website or visit her on
Facebook or Twitter.

You’re invited! The authors of Sweet Romance Reads Café have planned an Open House.


  1. Great post, Alicia! I definitely like hanging out with my furry friends. Pets derive similar benefits from being close to us. We have a lab in particular who has to get her daily "oxytocins" by climbing up on the bed and sitting beside us. She literally has to be pressed up against us to feel content. Sometimes she even tries to wrap her front legs around my hubby's tummy and give him a "hug"...LOL. So sorry about the loss of your kitty. After so many years, I'm sure that's been hard. Best wishes, Ginny

    1. Your lab sounds adorable, Ginny! And thanks for your kind words.

  2. My little dog knows when to cuddle, snuggle, and when I need a giggle. I just wish she didn't think I needed to clean up after her 'accidents.' Lol

  3. I'm cuddling with my pet right now. :)

  4. My guys remind me if I forget to cuddle.

    1. I get those reminders, too, Aileen---sometimes with a furry butt right on my keyboard!