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PUPPY LOVE 2019

Both of our dogs are rescue dogs, found and brought home by my youngest son. The first dog he found was a little pug who jumped into his vehicle on a cold autumn day. After a lot of searching and putting up posters to no avail, we found ourselves with a pug. The other dog was running on one of our city streets. He witnessed her almost get hit by vehicles twice.  He pulled over and the pup jumped into his vehicle. While we planned to only keep her overnight until we could turn her over to the SPCA, we ended up falling in love with the little girl and we now have a new friend for our other rescue pet. 

Having rescue dogs really makes me appreciate the work of rescue organizations such as New Hope and the SPCA, who both do amazing work. These compassionate and dedicated rescuers and caretakers of lost, hurt and abused animals do so much to ensure they are well taken care of.  All the dogs we have had as pets over the years were rescue dog”. We enjoyed and loved them and never regretted saving them.

Besides providing their owners with love and joy, I have learned that owning a pet is actually good for your health! Researchers at several universities have found there are several perks to owning a pet. Besides the obvious reason of the benefits of the love between a pet and its owner, there are several health reasons which make owning a pet good for you and for children!

Researchers have found that children with dogs take 360 more steps a day and exercise more each day and this could help in the battle against to childhood obesity. Other research indicates that cuddling with a furry friend helps children relax. Petting animals actually slows down the heart rate and makes you feel calmer. Adult pet owners had lower blood pressure when responding to stress than adults who do not own pets. Studies have also shown that taking care of their pets teaches kids empathy. Pets help children and adults cope with stress such as moving or dealing with a divorce. Therapy for traumatized children includes pet therapy. It works because pets provide companionship and unconditional love. As well, they encourage play and laughter. This helps adults dealing with depression.  Pets can make them laugh and play when nothing else works.  Special care homes and nursing homes have discovered this as well and many now have resident dogs and cats. Several new organizations have sprung up across North America which train dogs and present them to soldiers who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The results have been amazing. 

I was surprised to learn that children living with a pet are 50 percent less likely to develop allergies! Studies indicate that this may be due to compounds called endotoxins found in the mouths of cats and dogs. Kids are exposed to them through petting and playing with their animals. 

There are many benefits to owning a pet, but I think the best reason is to bask in the love of our furry friends. You know that at the end of each day, your pet is waiting for you and always happy to see you. If there are also health benefits to owning a pet, that is a bonus. 

So, go ahead and rescue a pet. You will be loved unconditionally and you may even improve your health because of it.

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Wednesday May 15, 2019

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