If you own a dog – I’m betting at one point or another you’ve thought to yourself – man this pooch has it made! All they have to do is lie around – scratching their butt, while I work hard to provide their food, shelter, toys, and even… scoop their poop! At times it can certainly feel like a one way relationship, you give – they receive.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ― Roger Caras
Well… in reality you and I – and anyone else who thinks of their dog as a mooch, is completely wrong! Ever heard of a therapy dog? They go around visiting children’s hospitals and retirement communities. There is nothing special about them… they are simply a dog – your dog is a therapy dog too.
This is a tribute post to my little weenie – Oscar (that’s him in the photo). When reflecting on my day, I’ve realized that a lot of my daily happiness comes from him. While my dog and your dog can’t give back in a monetary form, they are great at giving happiness to our everyday lives.
And here’s why:
1. Your Dog Lets You Pet Them
Studies show that when you pet your pup a hormone called oxytocin is released. This is the same hormone that’s released when you snuggle up to someone (or even your dog). Oxytocin helps decrease stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure. So instead of popping a Prozac – some doctors are recommending you spend more time with your four legged family friend.
2. Your Dog Goes On Walks With You
Not only is your dog a great workout buddy but they are also like hanging out with the coolest person in town! Try walking by yourself and see how many people try to talk to you or smile in your direction – my experience has been gloomy. However, walk with your tail wagging friend and not only do people smile, but they try to chat you up. Heck if they are also walking with their dog – you’re likely to talk for awhile (while the dogs do their booty sniffing introductions) and possibly even make a new friend.
3. Your Dog Listens to You
No friend is a better listener than your dog. In this case the one way relationship is on their side, who else do you know that will let you hog 100% of the conversation? You can pour out your heart and soul to your dog and not have to worry about being judged, laughed at, or interrupted. As long as you have your dog, you will never be lonely. Most importantly no matter what choices you make, your dog is going to love and appreciate you.
4. Your Dog Welcomes You
When you walk through your door after a long hard day at work – nothing will make you happier than seeing your dog. Your dog buzzes around you in circles and hops up and down, and moves in ways you didn’t know were possible. Their action towards you expresses how much you’ve been missed in such a short amount of time. They try to kiss you, their tails go crazy… and you feel great knowing you are the world – to your dog.
5. Your Dog Protects You
I call Oscar “the ankle biter”. He’s only 13 pounds, but if anyone ever tried to break into our home not only would he alert us, but the intruder would be limping out of the house, thanks to my protective furry friend.
Just know that your dog has got your back. They’re your body guard and spend a lot of their time worrying about you and your safety. Someone in front of you on the sidewalk? Your dog has a keen eye on them – they’re not going to let anyone hurt their mommy or daddy. You care as much about your dog’s heath and safety – as they do about yours.
The love between a dog and their owner is unconditional and promotes daily happiness.
If you don’t have a dog – get one! If you do – go play tug-of-war or fetch.