I recently read an article about a recent study performed in the UK that dogs are great for your health, even better for you than cats! It has been proven to reduce depression, improve circulation, lower blood pressure and even help manage chronic illness. Now, I was forever a cat person, having had them my entire life and having two as an adult that were part of my life for 10 and 13 years respectively. I can also say after all those years of ‘kitty living’ I was sick constantly. I suffered from constant colds, flu, headaches, fatigue, not to mention the ammonia filled litter box from 2 large adult males that would almost instantly cause an asthma attack upon cleaning. I also found myself constantly depressed. I found out years later I was terribly allergic to cats and after my last guy passed away (R.I.P Bailey- you were a good kitty) I decided I would take in no more kitties as much as it broke my heart.
Shortly after, I moved in with a friend who had two beautiful pit bulls. I live in Nova Scotia and because of the influx of breed bans from nearby provinces; we’re like the pit bull capital of Canada. On a related note, I would like to point out, the 7 Am Staffs I know, are ALL big sooks, loving, playful and just all around great dogs. I just wanted to take this opportunity to stand up for the breed and educate people on the fact it’s the irresponsible owners to blame- NEVER the breed. Now that I’m off my soap box, it was inevitable that I would fall in love with these dogs. At first, the changes were small. I’d notice that when I got up in the mornings, hearing the clickity clicks of the dogs’ paws as they excitedly ran down to greet me would instantly cause me to smile. I didn’t mean to, but I smiled. I smiled all the time. I started spending less and less time in my room obsessing over things and wallowing in self defeat and depression and spending more times out doors in the sunshine with these awesome dogs. The emotional crud began to melt away and my aches and pains were becoming much less and much intense. If I wasn’t feeling well ( I have Fibromyalgia so, that happens often) the boy, Brody, would come up and lie with me, comforting me and we’d fall asleep in a buddy embrace that would soothe me right in to La La land. Needless to say, when our living arrangement ended and my wife and I moved in to our Condo, it was decided. We were getting a dog.
After preparing for our puppy for 10 mos (much like an actual pregnancy) she was born. Lucy Louise- I was in love! Bringing her home was the best day ever. I was in awe of her. I had never had a dog before and she was so tiny and precious. She’s a miniature dachshund so she was just a little over 3 pounds when she came home. My face actually hurt from smiling.
Day by day she grew, she learned, she cocked her head when you spoke to her and I felt love like no other. All I had to do was look at her face and all my stresses melted away. Watching her little legs trot down the hall would throw me in a fit of laughter and pride. Suddenly, I wasn’t focusing on my physical pain or my depression. I wasn’t focusing so much on the negative, I couldn’t, she just made me so happy and grateful. My focus changed to taking care of Lucy. Going for walks, watching her experience new things, endless hours of ball tossing and chasing her around our house. I felt like, I could actually cope with more. I felt stronger, I had purpose again.
It’s been almost 2 years since we got Lucy and have since adopted a brother for her, Riley. These dogs fill me with more joy and laughter than I ever could imagine. My creativity has even blossomed since they came in to my life. I feel better emotionally and on those days I sense I might not be able to make it out of bed, they roll over and look at me, so simply and trusting as if to say, “What are we doing today Mom?” I can’t help but look in their eyes and smile and feel as though we can do anything..
If you’re interested in learning more about Pit Bull rescue, contact: http://ador-a-bull.com/adopt-a-bull and follow @MaritimePit on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-Project-Rescue/492239864132067 (Maritime Pit Project) on Facebook.
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Be Kind to Dogs,
“Owning a dog is good for your health” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/61316.php
“Diseases from cat urine” http://www.ehow.com/list_6608529_diseases-cat-urine.html
“How your cat can cause you to catch schizophrenia” http://george-eby-research.com/html/toxoplasmosis-brain-injury.html