Created By: BananaPancakes on May 1, 2013 Last Edited By: Nazetrime on June 15, 2017
Nuked

Fuzz Therapy

Pets make you happy.

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Note: Please be a aware that the corresponding trope page has existed since May 2013: Fuzz Therapy. This TLP no longer needs to be active. The actual trope page may be more appropriate for new examples and discussion.

You've just had a bad experience: losing your job, your house, The End of the World as We Know It is upon us, or you've run out of chocolate ice cream. Whatever it is you've lost, it was very dear to you, and you want nothing more than to be relieved of this bad feeling. Unfortunately, no human will help you.

No human will help you.

That leaves plenty of room open for a furry friend — usually a cat or dog, but any other furry animal with a penchant for sociability can also suit the bill — to find you in your hour of need and offer a sympathetic body for you to channel your sorrow into. It works like this: you stroke the animal's fur, it responds with pleasure, and you feel better. You feel better because you have made your pet happy, and this success, however small, renews your own sense of self-worth and will to pull yourself back up from defeat.

The Aloner may want a pet specifically to make him or her happier because other humans just don't understand them. The Team Pet may also be the only person unable to pull The Hero out of his/her funk if the task exceeds the capabilities of anyone else. Anyone who attempts to interrupt Fuzz Therapy engages in kicking the dog.

Rolling Updates


Examples:

Film
  • My Dog Skip is all about the beneficial effects of the eponymous dog on Willie's life.

Literature
  • She may be feathered, but Harry Potter's owl Hedwig does function as his only friend during his annual weeks of summer torture with the Dursleys. It saddens him greatly when the Death Eaters kill her during his permanent farewell to Privet Drive.

Live-Action TV
  • From The Big Bang Theory:
    • When Sheldon breaks up with Amy for an episode, he gets about a half dozen cats, whom he plays with affectionately. He denies that he's compensating for the loss of Amy's companionship. When they get back together, he "sells" the cats (actually gives money to people to take them).
    • Related in thought: whenever Sheldon feels sick or depressed, he asks Penny to come over and sing a song called "Soft Kitty" to him:
      Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
      Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr
  • In an Imagine Spot on Scrubs a doctor cures a terminally ill patient by dumping a box of kittens on him.

Newspaper Comics
  • Calvin and Hobbes named this trope. After having what he describes as a "rotten day," Calvin comes upon a sleeping Hobbes, gets the inspiration to rub his belly, and sparks what seems to be a wonderful dream in the tiger. The last panel of the strip sees Calvin walking away, a smile on his face, declaring that "fuzz therapy" has cured his mood.
  • This comes up in Peanuts occasionally, with Snoopy being the fuzz and usually Charlie Brown or Linus as the person needing the therapy. "Happiness is a warm puppy."

Real Life
  • Many hospitals (and some nursing homes) have animal therapy, where a small dog or cat is brought to a ward with a handler and visits the patients' rooms, where the patients can pet and visit with it and generally feel comforted in their illness.
  • Crazy Cat Lady can be due to this — a lonely (often older, unmarried or widowed) woman comforting herself with a bunch of cats.
  • This Cracked article brings up that, with cats, this could be a Truth in Television.

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • May 1, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    From The Big Bang Theory:
    • When Sheldon breaks up with Amy for an episode, he gets about a half dozen cats, whom he plays with affectionately. He denies that he's compensating for the loss of Amy's companionship. When they get back together, he "sells" the cats (actually gives money to people to take them).
    • Related in thought: whenever Sheldon feels sick or depressed, he asks Penny to come over and sing a song called "Soft Kitty" to him:
      Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
      Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr
  • May 1, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Real Life

    Many hospitals (and some nursing homes) have animal therapy, where a small dog or cat is brought to a ward with a handler and visits the patients' rooms, where the patients can pet and visit with it and generally feel comforted in their illness.
  • May 1, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an Imagine Spot on Scrubs a doctor cures a terminally ill patient by dumping a box of kittens on him.
  • May 2, 2013
    Arivne
    The Calvin And Hobbes entry is a Zero Context Example and needs more explanation as to how it's an example of this trope.
  • May 2, 2013
    randomsurfer
    This comes up in Peanuts occasionally, with Snoopy being the fuzz and usually Charlie Brown or Linus as the person needing the therapy. "Happiness is a warm puppy."
  • May 2, 2013
    BananaPancakes
    To Arivne: I think I've remedied your qualm about the Calvin And Hobbes entry.
  • May 2, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Looks good to me. And kudos for finding a Good Trope Namer.
  • May 2, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Crazy Cat Lady can be due to this--a lonely (often older, unmarried or widowed) woman comforting herself with a bunch of cats.
  • May 3, 2013
    LOAD
    This Cracked Article brings up that, with cats, this could be a Truth In Television.
  • May 18, 2013
    BananaPancakes
    No one else has any more examples? I am still waiting. Hopefully no one is just watching this YKTTW and not seeking to be more productive.

    Patience wears thin on this end, and if no one else wants to contribute to this YKTTW, I'm going to publish it on Monday as it is.
  • May 20, 2013
    nitrokitty
    • On Mythbusters, part of an experiment of the effects of relaxation on driving involved fluffy puppies.
  • June 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    Bump
  • June 12, 2017
    Nazetrime
    This already exists as a trope page, with the exact same description. I guess it never got launched properly.
  • June 12, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • Sponge Bob Square Pants: In "Plankton's Pet", Plankton gets a pet amoeba after failing to steal the Krabby Patty formula for the umpteenth time.
  • June 12, 2017
    Getta
    Isn't the main purpose of having pets this trope? That is, you can expect any pet that's shown in fiction to be this for their owners...
  • June 13, 2017
    Nazetrime
    As I'm trying to point out for the second time (I admit I was guilty of Ambiguous Synthax the first time), the corresponding trope page exists. Look: Fuzz Therapy. I think the page must have been created separately instead of launching the TLP. I don't get why this discussion is continuing, my impression is that this sould be moved out of the queue already.
  • June 13, 2017
    Getta
    ^ in that case, go to Ask The Tropers?
  • June 14, 2017
    Malady
    Cute animals in general, or pets? If latter, rename to Pet Therapy as a Sub Trope of currently existing Fuzz Therapy, else discard or something.

    Else, expand laconic and add the WebComic.El Goonish Shive example of Susan with Rabbits.
  • June 14, 2017
    Getta
    Crazy Cat Lady is related.
  • June 15, 2017
    LB7979
    Are you aware that this TLP already launched (found here), and this page is a duplicate left behind due to a glitch? As the note above the Trope description says, adding examples and discussion of the Trope might be better continued on the actual Trope Page. The bug has already been reported on ATT here.
  • June 15, 2017
    Malady
    Okay, I'm fine with a Discard and someone bringing stuff up on the Discussion...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=sjrol9mjw5jxaes7efiojwfn