Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Could This Dog Save Your Life?"

This title caught my eye the other day while in the waiting room of my doctors office.

In parenthesis above the title was another overused adage of mine, "the healing power of pets."

I will attest to the now scientific proof that owning a pet not only enriches your life, it has now been proven by scientific studies. Having pets keeps you healthier, happier, and teaches us almost every single important lesson that life is here to teach us.

If you want to reduce stress, loose weight, lower your blood pressure, learn patience, love, and live a longer happier life a pet can help.

I see clients everyday who tell me that if it wasn't for their dog needing two walks a day that they themselves wouldn't get up, get dressed and hit the pavement. I also hear everyday how important their pet is to keeping them happy. There is almost always a part of every appointments time spent talking about the funny things our pets do. The silly antics they play, the amazing aptitude they have to figure out how to train their parents into providing them that extra snack they long for, or the mischievous trouble they have gotten themselves into.

I make it a point to spend one full day a week at home just so I can catch up with my kitties and dogs. I want to have one long day at home where we can take the dogs for a long hike in the woods and watch them sniff every tree, or hole, or chase a stick, or swim in the pond. My kittens are growing up soo fast that I want to have time with them everyday so I don't miss a milestone. Someday they will outgrow their silly tail chasing or obsessive bird stalking through the sliding glass back porch door.

My pets always remind me to notice the littlest wonder in the most basic of places. And at the end of the day the time we have spent together reinforces our already deep bond. Every night when my husband and I head to bed our clan marches behind us. We all head to bed in the same room, each of us to our respective own beds, and I close my eyes thankful to have such a rich life full of so much love. My pets remind me that everyday is another chance to learn, love, grow, and keep it just that simple.

For the content of the "Remedy's Healthy Living" Your Way of Life Winter 2012 article they highlight some other ways in which pets enrich our lives.

Specifically they mention that therapy dogs used in hospitals have been found to relax and engage the patients. Pets have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease, depression, and many other ailments.

For people who suffer from diseases such as seizures and diabetes dogs have been trained to be able to detect changes in these diseases to warn their caregivers of an oncoming seizure or change in blood sugar. They are actually able to detect these dangerous body changes, alert their caregivers, and potentially save them from a life-threatening event.

I know that my pets ever present happy-go-lucky attitude reminds me to not sweat the small stuff. And I also know that just the mere act of their daily care day in and day out robs me of the ability to check out of life, even for one morning. Having them to take care of is a constant reminder that we are all a product of what we eat, what we do, how active and engaged with life we are, and that we are all dependent on each other. I bring them food, water, exercise, and medical care, and they in return provide unconditional love, endless entertainment, and a feeling of being a part of something far more important and far bigger than myself.

For the humans out there that don't know or understand what I am talking about, or for those people out there that like their stuff better than the idea of a pet in their home I guess I would just ask if your stuff helps keep you "engaged, relaxed, in shape, happy, teaches you and your children responsibility, or cuddles up to each night purring, or wagging its tail?"

Magpie's mid-afternoon nap. 

Charleston's spot beside my office computer. He follows me everywhere.
He is a pit bull mix with unyielding devotion and humility.

Remedy's Healthy Living article.

Savannah, at 16. Napping.
I keep her orange jacket on day and night because she wanders, and I worry for her safety.

Jekyl, after a long day of standing watch at the house.

Wren. Mid-day nap. I go to work on this blog and everyone gets in their beds.

1 comment:

  1. This was a wonderful, reaffirming article about just how important pets can be to human life. After 45 years of living with dogs, a cat, gerbils, birds and even a little mouse, I can tell you that I truly received more from them than I ever gave, though love with pets is a reciprocal emotion. A writer and conservationist named Kiki Gallmann once said "You cannot call a place 'home' until you share it with a dog," but I think this statement applies to any pet.