In 2010, I was a broke, college student that could only afford to live in a horrible, run down apartment complex. The apartments were next to a convenient store that was on the news all of the time for shootings and other crimes. I knew I would be on the lower end of the totem pole, living in such a violent, dangerous environment and being just a skinny, white female from the suburbs. So I knew I had to make friends with almost all of my neighbors. They were mostly all cool with me. Still, I was targeted (by one of my neighbor’s teenage sons) and eventually my apartment was burglarized while I was out shopping.
I knew I needed some security. At first I thought of booby trapping my apartment (LoL) but that didn’t seem like the best option… I needed something scary, loud and on alert 24/7. I needed a dog STAT! So, I went on Craigslist and found the cutest German Shepherd mix puppy. This is an actual picture of him as a puppy.
He protected me ever since then and made me feel safe, even if I was home alone and I hear gunshots at night. A few months later, Me and my pup moved out of those apartments and to much safer, nicer place.
- SECURITY AND PROTECTION
Dogs certainly are amazing protectors and guards, but they are actually so much more than that to mankind. Firstly, this man/canine relationship has been going on for possibly 40,000 years. Ancient people would hunt, feed their family and would leave behind their scraps from the day’s hunt and the wolves would reap the benefits.
In my mind I think that the smartest of the wolves realized, “Hey, these human things really know how to hunt, we should hang out around them more often!”. Being near each other all the time, I’m sure some adorable,spirited pup was curiously watching a human child playing and (being just a pup and no danger) eventually the child and pup would be playing together. Seeing that the pup is no danger to anyone in the human family, the adults could of easily been schmoozed by it’s sweet puppy-like face,
The baby wolf would want to do things for some readily available food and not do things to get yelled at and possibly not get food. So then the domesticated dog was born, the ULTIMATE schmoozers.
The dogs were not the only beneficiary in this relationship, humans benefited and continue to benefit, in many surprising ways just from the dogs being in their life. Having a dog is free 24/7 security from any threats (especially helpful for when humans lived out in the open basically). I always say “You can’t sneak up on a man with a dog”, and that is SO true.
2. THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Dogs are great for the human being’s health. Spending time with your pup can lower your blood pressure and if you do happen to have a heart attack, you are TWICE as likely to recover than people who don’t have a dog. Dogs can also help protect your children from skin conditions and allergies (studies also show that dogs improve kid’s self-esteem and coping skills).
When you are a dog owner it forces you frequently get off your butt and get out of the house and walk, even if you don’t want to do anything. Once you are outside with your furry friend, you feel glad that you got out and you will feel better when you get home.
Dogs save our lives with their loyalty to us and their insane, ultra-powerful smelling abilities. They are out their everyday, sniffing out bombs, we would have never have safely found on our own,so that they can be disarmed and removed.
Dogs can actually smell what is going on in our bodies, just by sitting near us. In fact they can tell subtle fluctuation in your body’s chemicals and hormones.
Dogs can be trained to warn epileptics when they are about to have a seizure, they can smell CANCER (which early detection can save your life). If the dog’s owner is diabetic, their pup can sense the dip in blood sugar and alert their owner to take their insulin shot. They can track down invasive insects like termites or bed bugs. They can even let you know when you’re pregnant (although usually they are trained to sense pregnancy in cows). They can actually smell minerals and bacteria! Amazing!
Dogs are like a no side-effects, antidepressant. I remember going through some rough times, but when I got home and spent like 15 mins with my pup, I felt a million times better. Just looking at that smiling face, that is so excited to see me, I can’t help be feel calm and happier. Even when I first wake up and my hair is a mess, wearing Pjs, and I’m still half asleep, my dog is looking at me like I am glamorous supermodel and my dog is in awe of my awesomeness. How can I be depressed after spending time around that?
In fact, studies have shown that playing with a dog will boost your brain neurotransmitters, Seratonin and Dopamine. These feel-good chemicals help you to feel happy, pleasurable and calm.
Although we cannot have a typical human conversation with our pups, over the last 40,000 years we have evolved to communicate with our furry friends just fine. I can look at my current dog, a red Doberman mix, Sadie (featured here) and I can tell her entire inner monologue. Me and my husband (he has a beautiful, black Great Dane featured here) actually “do” our dog’s voices and it is hilarious and I’m sure that is what our pups are really thinking.
5. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
True unconditional love exists only in fairy tales and religious books, but here in reality, people have conditions on their love for you. You could get too fat, too poor, too annoying, too anything, and they will be gone like yesterday. Dogs have been known to be abandoned somewhere and then they will travel thousands of miles to get back home to you. A great example of this is in the movie Red Dog, it was on YouTube for free but maybe try Netflix? Either way it’s a good movie and a true story of how far a dog will travel to find his owner. Also, I recommend the TV show “Wilfred” on Netflix.
6. LIVING IN THE PRESENT
Dogs know something us humans have struggled to learn, and that is how to live in the present. Dogs don’t mull over all the times they were called a “bad boy” or “bad girl”. No, they live in the now, and right now, and they are just happy to be here. We should all learn from our fellow companions that being happy for what you have right now, is a great way to live life.
So check out your local animal shelter or craigslist and see what kind of happy, furry face you could welcome into your family. I’d love to know your opinion, which dog breed(s) is your absolute favorite?