I am a dog person. I love a 4-legged goofball. Dogs are like toddlers. They can be a handful but they are also one of the best friends you will ever have. Most people who have owned dogs speak fondly of their experience with them. I was born in the year of the dog. Maybe that is why I love them so much. When I was a canine educator for a nationally well-known pet retailer, I loved my job. I got to play with puppies all day AND I got to make a difference in the lives of a few of my students. I won’t ever forget when a couple told me I had saved their Boston terriers life because he had been returned to the breeder so many times for bad behavior and we were able to get him to where he was a good boy in their home. I had found out the breeder told him the couple was his last chance. Terrible as that situation could have been, I am happy to know that our efforts paid off for them.
I don’t have a dog of my own…yet. Our landlord doesn’t allow it and we are stabilizing a household. We will ask again in a year to see if the answer is different. We have been lucky to have Maebe, a springer spaniel (and one of the best dogs ever) staying at our house for a couple of weeks while my boyfriend’s parents are in Spain. She is a high energy breed and needs to go outside a lot. Her frisbee is her vice. She can’t get enough of it. We often must hide it so she can calm down. I have never seen a dog love a toy so much. Since we can’t frisbee all day long, I have started taking her for a long walk once a day. I live in an amazingly beautiful dog friendly neighborhood. The time goes quickly because it is such a scenic walk. We have been averaging 1.5 miles each time. I can tell her little legs get tired towards the end so I don’t push it but I know that both of our minds would love to do more.
Walking her is really a joy. I don’t mind the poop cleanup and I get to fit in extra exercise too. A member at my gym walks a couple dogs in the neighborhood and suggested that I do the same. I have an extra hour in the morning and usually some afternoon hours. Since I have experience in training and pet care, I could offer extra services (Mae worked on leash manners today. She did wonderfully and barely pulled once she understood why I kept stopping). I could see myself having a side job (or side hustle as I like to say) walking/training/pet sitting. It would be beneficial both fiscally and physically.
People who own dogs (or just have dogs in their life) have been proven to be healthier and live longer. Dogs help reduce stress and walking them improves cardiovascular health. Both of which can lower your risk of heart disease. If you choose to get a dog, the former vet tech in me would like to remind you to spay/neuter them and to keep up on shots and flea/tick/heartworm prevention. If your dog is going to help you live longer, you will want them to have the longest, happiest life possible with you. Your dog will return the favor with endless love and loyalty.
Oh look. It’s frisbee time!