Back in the mid-2000’s, my siblings and I begged and pleaded for a dog. It took months for our parents to even consider the idea, but they eventually relented. We could get a dog, they said, ONLY if we could come up with 101 Reasons To Own a Dog. Pretty much every ‘reason’ after 30 was actually just another rule for how to care for dogs. However, after our elaborate presentation, they agreed.
Two months later, we drove out to the country to pick our favorite pup out of the litter. Among the mess of spoken-for and unspoken-for tan furballs was an adorable little girl. We named her Windy. It started as a joke from my dad who suggested he now had a dog to blame his farts on. In the end, I decided it was, despite it’s origins, a great sounding name for her. (I was also going through a music phase where I only listened to my parents’ favorite music – The Association “Windy”)
When my family’s first golden retriever, Windy, passed away last year, I was devastated. They have another golden, Zeus, but I never quite connected with him the way I did with Windy. It’s hard even now to think about her and all the pain she was in during those last days of cancer. There are memories with pets similar to those you share with friends. I remember taking her for walks, playing tug of war, and spilling my guts about my every teenage drama. Big dogs like retrievers are more of a comfort than anything else. They can’t tell you to just shut up about that boy already. They will always curl up with you when you’re sad. They will forgive you if you forget to take them out or don’t pay enough attention. Basically, they are wonderful.
Hence why I need a dog.
Reason 1. There is a special connection you create with a loved pet. (see above)
Reason 2. A dog is apparently the best piece of exercise equipment you could buy according to the New York Times article “Forget the Treamill. Get a Dog”.
…among dog owners who took their pets for regular walks, 60 percent met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise.
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