Posted by: jude49 | November 2, 2012

Dogs=Increased Well-Being


Ten days ago, I struck gold! I found and bought the perfect dog for me, a 6 year old Jack Russell I call  Gemma. She’s a beautiful dog, white with a copper-colored face. She has a sweet disposition, easy to please, loving…she loves to give kisses…lots of them. And, she loves to run!

I had been wanting a dog since my Pippin, also a Jack Russell, died May 1, 2011. For 10 months after his death, i had a difficult time petting a dog without tears. I desperately wanted another dog, but in Vancouver, it’s rare to find a dog unless you want to pay upwards of $500.00. I just didn’t know if I would ever be able to afford another dog.

As the months wore on after Pippin’s death, I noticed my own well-being declining. Since I live by myself and much of my time in the last 10 years has been helping my sister care for our parents, now deceased, as well as building my practice, I have not had much time for social butterflying! Pippin was my constant caring companion.

Since Gemma has come into my life, I have found my well-being change. I still experience bouts of depression, and Gemma helps alleviate that. As my condo building opens onto a park, I have an ideal situation for Gemma to run and for me to walk quickly to keep up! I feel better after our walk. Moving  changes one’s mood, and I have found that is true for me. I can feel more strength in my physical body, and I owe that to Gemma.

Dogs provide structure and routine. Gemma is an active dog, and she needs at least 3 walks a day. I have found that routine in my own life and in the lives of others is paramount to well-being.

Dogs are emotionally supportive. Many dogs sense your energy  and are “naturally” comforting. The dogs in my life have had and continue to have a brilliant ability to know when to comfort me with kisses and when to keep their distance.  It’s good to have a sensitive companion.

Dogs are entertaining. Even in ten days, Gemma has caused me to laugh out-loud. Laughing is good for the soul, and it can transport me from a negative to a positive state of mind in seconds.

Dogs are good for your spirit. Just cuddling with Gemma and feeling her wet kisses all over my face cheer my soul and heart. Dogs (and other animals, as well) love without condition. It is a joy to see Gemma interact with other dogs which often results in my talking to people I wouldn’t talk to otherwise other than a quick hello.  They seem to know instinctively that we are “wired” to connect with each other.

I can’t say I am thrilled to drag myself out of bed, sometimes as early as 8 a.m.! But seeing Gemma run and bounce towards me, well, it makes it all worthwhile!

Who are the animals in your life and how do they enhance your well-being?

Until next time,



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