I can be a bit of a dog pusher. I realize this about myself and feel bad sometimes after I’ve gone on and on to a friend or family member about how they should get a dog. I just know that I definitely didn’t expect all the ways that my dog would make my life better before I got him, so I sometimes think others may not know how great having a dog really is.
But now, I have a Harvard study to back up my claims about how beneficial having a dog really is! I will try not to let this make my dog-pushing worse, but come on, it’s a Harvard study backing up everything us dog lovers know to be true! That feels pretty vindicating.
I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this study. Having a dog has made me more active, made me more social and made me happier. I loved having a dog so much after adopting Hunter that I had to have another! And it’s true, having two dogs is even better than having one (that will be the next Harvard study, just wait).
Of course it’s not always fun and games and there are a lot of stressful times and sacrifices you have to make. But for me, the rewards are worth it. When you have a smiling dog so happy to see you when you get home and someone to snuggle with you on the couch, the sacrifice is all worth it.
There are so many ways my dogs have changed my life, but some of them I didn’t really expect. Here are some of the unexpected ways my dogs have changed my life for the better:
I explore more
I remember telling a friend before I adopted Hunter that I didn’t want a really active dog, that I couldn’t picture myself playing catch with a dog at the park. Well, Hunter isn’t really into catch, but if he was, I would definitely take him to the park to play. I’ve realized that seeing my dog happy, makes me happy, so I will pretty much try anything to keep him entertained. We have visited almost every Metropark, tried bootcamp all the way across town, done trick training classes, gone to playgroups, taken road trips. My dogs have definitely gotten me out exploring a lot more than I expected.
I don’t mind staying in
I used to hate when I didn’t have plans on Friday or Saturday night. Now I can’t wait to get home and spend the night with my dogs. I just need more friends that want to just come over and hang out with my dogs, because most of the time that’s all I want to do.
I want to save them all
I didn’t know much about animal rescue before adopting Hunter. I knew about puppy mills, but that’s about it. Hunter wasn’t adopted from a shelter or a rescue group, but instead from a friend that had taken him in after her friend gave him up. As I got more involved in the dog community after adopting him, I realized that if a dog like Hunter could be given up, there must be lots of great dogs that need help finding a family. Last year I started fostering for Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. Not only have I met some great dogs and made friends, I met this little guy who has brought me so much joy.
I feel more settled
I used to be restless, always wanting to move to a new city or find a new job. Adopting Hunter and Roscoe has made Cleveland feel like home and I feel more settled than I have at any other point in my life. When you live alone, having a dog makes your house feel like home.
What ways has your dog improved your life that you didn’t expect?