It’s a dogs life

6 Jul

The princess in her trench coat!

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” ~Dave Barry

Pets are fabulous. I always had pets growing up.  When I became a mother though, motherhood, to me,  felt full enough with children.  I didn’t need a pet.  Although I loved having pets as a kid, as a parent I felt stretched a bit too thin to fit a pet into family life.  I also had a child that was allergic to dogs and cats.  So as much as my children asked for a pet, I resisted.

I began to feel the pangs of wanting a dog around.  I began to imagine how a dog would fit into the family.  I started researching “hypoallergenic” dogs that would be safe to have around my allergy ridden child.  The children and I would spend time thinking of good names for a dog.  Yup, I started down that road.  And once you start, there is no turning back.

I called some breeders.  I started visiting them and got to know some puppies.  I began reading up on how to train a puppy.  I did not want a nutty pooch that was all consuming.  I wanted a companion to the family and a way to teach my children responsibility of pet ownership.  I wanted a comfortable relationship with an animal for my family.  The research, visiting breeders, and reading up on puppy training sure paid off.  I took the leap and got a puppy for my family.  And she has been a wonderful addition to the family.  In more ways than one!

There is compelling research indicating that pets are good for mental health.  Pets can offer comfort and companionship.  Pets can actually be mood boosters!  And the routine of caring for a pet, particularly a dog, can reduce anxiety.   Also, having a dog to walk can actually increase activity level.  After all, dogs need to be walked!  The health benefits are adding up!

I work in the health care field, and I certainly have seen therapeutic benefits from dogs with some clients.  Therapy dogs are totally legitimate in my book.  Many animals are used for different kinds of therapy, so any animal can be therapeutic.

Any animal can be a fabulous addition to a family under the right conditions.   And you will be surprised how quickly pictures of your pet add up.  I have become a little ridiculous with my “cute pet” photos that I think are hilarious and adorable.  I have to admit, looking at those pictures brings me joy, so there are many ways that a pet can add to happiness and wellness!

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