Dogs and Life Lessons

Weekend Musings, by E. Mulligan (May 24, 2020) Every child dreams about pet ownership. Once the decision is made to actually get a beloved pet, the next decision is which pet is best for you and your family, and you bring your new love home. Now imagine that you have chosen a dog, and to fulfill its needs, you must provide shelter, food, and exercise. Your newfound dedication to your dog has changed and enriched their life as well as your own. And there are so many benefits that you both gain from each other. Pet ownership gives you: companionship, teaches responsibility, and increases socialization.

Looking at the current times we live in, those with pets have a unique opportunity to enjoy the companionship of their pets more than ever. Young, old, and every age in between caring for a fur baby require you to keep moving. A pet’s daily schedule helps you maintain focus when your life has been turned upside down. Dogs are often used as service animals for emotional support, especially for individuals with Autism. During this pandemic, emotions and anxiety are at an all-time high. Dogs can read your feelings and provide you with needed support…their unconditional love.

With a pet, you have to take care of the animal’s needs. As a family, you have to maintain those needs. One thing that grows from this is the family’s responsibility to work together for your pet. Children learn how to be gentle, follow feeding schedules, and learn empathy and responsibility.

Socializing is not only marvelous for pets but also for their owners. Many towns offer dog parks, where pets get to meet and interact with other dogs during their visits. Have you noticed an increase in the number of people walking dogs around town during this time of sheltering at home? With dog parks and the need to walk your dog, owners have a unique opportunity to interact even from a safe distance creating a social community. How many times have you seen a cute dog and complimented the owner or stopped to pet the same said dog? Dogs bring people together.

Stopping to talk to another dog owner or playing with your dog helps you slow down and simply enjoy the moment. Taking the time to smell the proverbial flowers is what a pet can do for you; thus, reducing stress, and celebrating the small joys in life.

All in all, owning a pet gives you many ways to enrich your life experience through their care and well-being.

It’s important to note that during these unprecedented times, not every local dog park is open because visitors were not practicing safe social distancing rules. We suggest that you check with your town’s Parks & Recreation Departments before heading out!


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