Updated: Oct 20, 2019
I was thinking the other day...just what having a dog means to me. The more I thought about it, the more I appreciated just what it is about dogs that bring completeness to our lives.
Here are just some reasons and benefits - in no particular order:
Having a dog as part of our family brings us together. I mean, we are often sending photos of his antics to each other; of how cute he looks when he sleeps; or how doiky he looks when he runs. We share images and laughter of when we put human clothes on him or when he is a bit clumsy.
If one of us is feeling a little sad or flat, his big brown eyes that look deep into ours, warm our hearts. The way he throws his paw to 'hold our hand' (he really just likes the top of his paw scratched!) or the way he just leans on you is uplifting. After all, who doesn't like to be needed? And loved? The unconditional part is best. Or is it the lack of judgement? Or the total commitment?
His joy when we come home is over the top. Even if we have been gone for less than an hour he is so overjoyed and almost seems surprised that we have returned. Heaven forbid if you go away for a longer period of time!
Here is a video of when our son returned home after being in Europe for almost a year.
Having a dog makes me get out more. Taking him to parks, to the beach and more. He loves just hopping in the car and going to the supermarket. Or going to cafes. He loves just being with someone. He makes me a more social being. People stop and talk to me because of him. I have been asked to do talks for groups because of him and through him, have been forced to go out of my comfort zone.
He used to be a Delta Therapy dog. He would bring joy and comfort to those we visited. He has made me a more socially aware person by sharing him with others and, together, we would bring happiness to their day. We talked to these people; showed them his love and joy of living. The smiles on their faces when he walked in the room was beautiful to say the least. And the audible gasps when he would 'count' for them, balance things on his nose and shake their hands - so lovely. He inspires smiles and peace and comfort.
The slideshow below shows Finn and the joy he bought to our Uncle Bruno. They loved each other very much. Uncle Bruno was a cantankerous Polish man who was sometimes quite difficult. The photos show their beautiful bond.
Having a dog like Finn has introduced many new people into our lives. Because of him, we have made new friends and we started to look after other people's dogs. At the moment we have his sister living with us which is such a delight but sadly know that she will have to leave us soon. We look after other people's dogs as well, we treat them just like we treat Finn, and they become our family.
Because of my love of animals - dogs in particular, I started up the Facebook Group - Bayside Dog Owners Group, plus a side project called Dogs of Bayside and finally this website.
Because of having a dog, I have met people that I wouldn't have crossed paths with at all - people who have enriched our lives, changed them in some way. Because of having a dog, I am more socially aware of issues surrounding pet ownership, pet health and the benefits of being a pet owning family.
What are the benefits for your family?