She’s made a couple of brief appearances in these pages but never been properly introduced.
She’s a rescue dog.
I thought that meant she’d been rescued from abandonment and I’d taken her in out of the goodness of my heart. But since I’ve had her I’ve begun to think that they’re called ‘rescue’ dogs because they rescue you.
Since I’ve had her she’s rescued me from sloth.
I walk her every day. Twice. And from occasional loneliness (she’s always there, always pleased to see me) and from despondency (she makes me laugh every day). She’s also attempted to improve my social life: if you walk with a dog people talk to you much more easily.
They say if you have teenagers you should have a dog.
Because you need someone to be pleased to see you when you come home. I certainly feel more welcomed by an excited flurry of licking and barking than a grudging grunt from behind a closed bedroom door.
But she’s been great for the teenagers too.
They can cuddle her when it’s just too embarrassing to cuddle a person, she listens without judgement, she’ll follow you to the ends of the earth and you can even surreptitiously give her the things on your plate you don’t want to eat and no-one will be any the wiser (very useful when my sister comes and cooks).
She’s improved my life so much in the last 6 months.
So I started wondering if the benefits were well-known or if I was just turning into a batty old bird. Turns out there’s lots of properly researched boons to dog ownership. Here’s a few of them:
Dogs lower stress.
They really do! Whether it’s sitting and stroking them, or walking more, a well-behaved dog has a healthy effect on your blood pressure.
They make children healthier.
This one astonished me. Having a dog in the house can actually lower children’s risk of respiratory and ear infections, gastroenteritis and some allergies. And it can also make your small more empathetic.
They might even help save your life.
One study showed people with dogs were over 20% more likely to survive heart attacks. Who knew?
So if you’re in two minds about a dog, consider the wise words of Robert Benchley: “a dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance and to turn around three times before lying down.”
Love you Doggo.