If you want to find happiness – get a dog. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and all you have to do is look at the picture of my dog above. That is the joy I feel every day.
From the moment I brought this little guy home, he has brought me unconditional love and friendship. And as I am typing this story, he is laying beside my feet, looking up at me. He follows me all over the house with a tennis ball in his mouth, in case I want to throw it. He is the world to me. All 120 pounds of him!
Dogs help you get exercise
You can’t be a couch potato when you have a dog, and my dog loves his walks. Walking regularly means you’re less likely to be obese and more likely to be physically active.
The benefits continue to pay off as you age and reach retirement. A National Health Institute sponsored study followed over 2,000 adults, 71 to 82 years old. The result: Those who took their dogs out regularly had more energy – they walked faster and for longer periods of time and had more mobility.
Dogs are great conversation starters
Dogs, like babies, are conversation starters. On walks, you’re bound to stop for a chat or two with other dog owners. This happens to me every day when we are walking. He usually is carrying the biggest stick he can find in his mouth, and the conversation usually starts with “Oh, he’s got a stick!”
If I am retired, what happens to the dog when I pass?
If you are single and worried about what will happen to your dog when you go, discuss it with your family and/or friends and let them know how important this is to you. Once your family/friends see what a good dog he/she is, they will be honored to care for him, and more than likely fall in love with him too.
Dogs are good for your mental health too!
Loneliness is one of the biggest problems among seniors who are living alone or find themselves with a lack of stimulation. Your dog will listen to you, always be happy to see you, and will love you forever. You are the world to him, and he is more than eager to show it.
Our grandfather had his little dog, Sammi, for 19 years. When Grandpa died at 82, poor old Sammi died shortly after. When I held him in his last moments I told Sammi “Go find Grandpa” and I’m sure the two of them are together once again. Sammi was grandpa’s constant companion and both of them were happy with each other until the very end. Both their lives were so much richer. We spread their ashes, together, over the water in Puget Sound.