By Karen A. Soukiasian
They don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” for no reason. Dogs have provided humans with loyalty, gratitude, love and companionship for centuries.
They are non-judgmental. They gratefully accept anything we give. In return, they provide many of us, with just what we need to make our day perfect…a wagging tail to let us know we are “special.”
It is a fact — folks who have a dog as a rule are healthier, happier and live longer.
Committing to our dog, petting our dog, exercising our dog, even simply talking to our dog; is beneficial to our mental and physical well-being.
The simple fact that they have certain basic needs is enough to motivate their owner, to hit the floor running everyday; even though they would prefer to stay in bed, with a pillow to their head.
The reality that they need food, water and exercise, and depend on us to provide those fundamentals is asking very little; for what they give in return. The most important gift they offer; they share our joys and our pain. The best part is, they never tell a soul our deepest darkest secrets.
They are always ready to go for a walk, or a ride in the car. They want to share your time, and adventures. They will stimulate you physically and mentally.
They will be waiting to greet you whenever you walk into the house; so you will no longer walk into an empty house.
They will bring life, back into your life! They will make your house a home again.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your new best friend:
· Commitment – Are you prepared to commit whatever it takes; to provide a safe, loving forever home to a dog? This means emotionally and financially.
· Size – Make sure you are comfortable with the size of the dog.
· Age – Puppies are wonderful! However, they are a lot of work! If you are prepared and capable of keeping up with them, terrific! Go for it! Otherwise, consider an older dog. Usually, they are already housebroken, and they may even have some obedience training. Most people overlook the treasure older dogs are, because they want a puppy. There are many senior dogs that have tons of love to share, that are euthanized everyday; merely because people look past them, and head straight for the puppies. Don’t be closed-minded.
· Energy level – Keep in mind what your energy level is, and get a dog close to, and possibly just a tad higher in energy. Many of the smaller breeds, are high in energy. Even though we may prefer a certain breed, weigh size vs. energy when making you decision.
· Training – Obedience training is a lifetime commitment. Are you prepared to work with your dog everyday on some sort of training? Enrolling in a local positive reinforcement, punishment-free obedience training group is a super way for you and your dog to get out, exercise, socialize, and bond.
Do your homework! Learn what breed would best suit your age and lifestyle. Don’t forget the All-American Mutt! More often than not, they are the best tempered and healthiest of the lot.
Bottom line: There are countless dogs anxiously waiting in shelters and rescues, for someone to love. Many have lost their owners to illness, nursing homes, assisted living arrangements and even death. They don’t have a clue, why they are where they are.
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