Scientific studies are showing that pets can dramatically increase the quality of your life which would explain why about seventy percent of U.S. households own one. Pets are said to bring you a sense of joy and happiness.
I have always loved animals. When I was a little girl we had a big fluffy English Sheepdog named Crumpet. I can remember as my mom would walk her I would beg to hold the leash. She would always tell me no because Crumpet was too strong. I didn’t believe her. I knew I could do it if she just gave me the chance. One day as we were out walking the dog, I once again asked to hold the leash. I confidently told my mom that I could handle this wonderful job and that I would be sure to do it well. My mom finally agreed. I couldn’t believe it! I excitedly took hold of the leash and took pride in the fact that she trusted me with this ever-important task. Well, Crumpet must have immediately noticed that she had a new walker and decided to take off running. I started running with her holding tightly to the leash until I tripped. I knew I couldn’t let go of the leash for anything after telling my mom I could handle it. It looked like a scene from Raider’s of the Lost Ark when Harrison Ford was being dragged behind a car while holding onto his whip. Well, he was much cooler. I was a beat-up mess. As my mom was yelling at me to let go of the leash I finally gave in to my failure as a dog walker. Ah, Crumpet brought us so much joy and happiness.
As an adult, I was given the opportunity to take in a miniature pincher puppy. I have always loved big dogs and not really a fan of little ones but she was pretty cute. I had just moved to a new city and even though she wouldn’t provide much protection for me, she would give me some companionship. Lexie Loo was a great lap dog and loved to snuggle all curled up behind my legs when I slept. When I went to work I kept her locked in the kitchen since we were still potty training. When I came home one night and opened the kitchen door I saw something that I never knew a tiny puppy could accomplish. She had managed to rip up the entire linoleum floor. I knew then that she would make a great protection dog and I would hate to see what was left of the person who tried to enter my home. Lexie also had a huge desire to run away from home. I loved her so well and yet she waited for any opportunity to run out the door and take off. She was fast. I would spend so much time looking for her as I couldn’t imagine she would be happy living on the streets. I would finally find her and call her name. As she turned around and saw my face, she would give kind of a smirk, turn around, and take off again. I would get my running start, the anger in me making me faster than I was, and I would end up tackling her like a football player. I would hold her tight all the way home reminding myself that I loved her so much. Ah, Lexie Loo brought me so much joy and happiness.
I eventually got married and along game Xena Marie, our sweet precious Great Dane. I had learned from Lexie that leaving a puppy inside unattended was not a good idea so she spent her time outside while we were at work. We had a beautiful deck that my husband had built which eventually had a beautiful design of puppy teeth marks throughout it. One rainy day we decided to leave Xena in the basement to keep her dry. When we came home, we found out her love of cushion stuffing. She had managed to eat an entire couch! Once she got the taste for stuffing she was like an addict and couldn’t stop. We spent the next eleven years replacing dog beds and pillows because she just couldn’t control herself. Ah, Xena Marie brought us so much joy and happiness.
A few years later, my husband brought home Zeus Lucious. He was a precious puppy that was left in a box next to a trash can. I had no idea what kind of dog it was but he was sweet and needed a home so we welcomed him. We eventually found out that Zeus was a pit bull. After hearing so many bad stories about that breed I couldn’t believe that I owned one. At that point I was so in love it didn’t matter. He truly has been the sweetest boy but also the most destructive. He must remember his early trauma of living in a box next to a trash can and has severe separation anxiety because of it. I was in awe of his Houdini skills. He could escape any crate that was made. Unfortunately, once he escaped he panicked even more and would go hide in a room. He would literally close the door behind him and then feel trapped and eat his way back through the door again. Sometimes he would decide that going through the floor might be a better option and ripping up the carpet was the first step to achieving that. Ah, Zeus Lucious brings us so much joy and happiness!
Once Xena passed away, I was happy with having just one dog again. That was until my husband showed me a picture of our next Great Dane, and we welcomed Baloo Barnabas into our family. He was the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen. We also hoped that Baloo would help Zeus’s anxiety. Well, Zeus absolutely hated him but has eventually learned to tolerate him. Baloo is the goofiest, funniest, neediest dog I have ever owned. He will snuggle only when he wants to and of course, it is all up on your lap like he is a tiny baby. This 125lb baby also walks around with a big blanky in his mouth. He is a fierce protector if somebody walks by our house but if you turn on the washing machine he will hide in a corner. Baloo Barnabas truly brings us so much joy and happiness!!
As you can see from my stories above, animals can increase the quality of your life, boost your emotional, mental, and physical health, as well as make you a better and happier person. Haha, but seriously, see below for 5 ways pets can help your overall health.
- Pets provide companionship: Just like Lexie did for me, if you are lonely, pets are great companions. They love you unconditionally (unless you own a cat), are usually always by your side and they love to listen to everything you have to say.
- Pets can keep you active: Whether it is playing or walking, moving with your pet provides you with physical activity which is good for your cardiovascular health.
- Pets provide comfort and emotional support.
- Pets can help us stay calm, relaxed, and stress-free. Animals can do funny things that make us laugh. Laughter is therapeutic and can reduce stress which will make us happier.
- Pets can improve your immune system: Experts say that owning a dog can help prevent the onset of allergies or illnesses like asthma, and can even strengthen your immune system.
I joke about all the bad things my dogs have done, but I truly couldn’t imagine my life without them. They can be challenging at times but overall have given me so much love, companionship, joy, laughter, and happiness!