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Dogs are better than vitamins or pills! The health benefits of pets! dog drTake 2 and call me in the morning….dogs, not pills….Well hey kids, I’m back. It’s been a tough couple of months what with my Bingy Boy crossing the rainbow bridge and other things going down, but I’m back having fun on the ships and feeling better about life again.

I am still so sad that I am dogless for the first time since I was a kid! I always get a rescue when I lose a dog. It saves a life and gives me back my life.

I have to tell you a funny but embarrassing story. My cousin sends me books to read thru kindle amazon and one of the books is The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein. It has a pic of a golden retriever on the cover so I was IN!! As I started to read, it was about a dog, actually the story is told by the dog, and he is planning to help his owner put him down so the owner can get on with his life. Believe me, I am not giving anything away…. that is the first few pages and I was bawling like a baby on an airplane. Trying to bow my head so no one saw the tears, red nose, blowing it, pretending there was something in my eye,  it was awful!!! I can laugh now, but man I shut that book down so fast…….

Then I tried again a month later, on a plane again no less…..and better, but man I know the gal next to me thought I was having a nervous breakdown. You really shouldn’t read this book after losing an old dog, I swear I still can’t finish it, but I will, it was really really good, but I am just too emotional. Even in my normal state, if I see a sad commercial about a volkswagon, I’m broken down like a prisoner that just got the bad news he is going to the gallows.  You’d think it was my last days.

But anyway, right now is not a good time to get a new furface. I vacillate between what is the right thing to do and what is the thing I really want to do. I am gone so much working on the ships now, which is great, we need the money and I love my job, and my hubby works a lot, and the house is up for sale, brokers and people coming and going, and if we sell, a giant move and tons of change, and a new dog would be alone so much. Part of me says, he would be alone but in a very cool house with a yard and family (sometimes) rather than a shelter and possible “death” around the corner.

But then I think of him having no body around, getting used to this yard and then losing it and maybe being stuck in an apartment,  we are probably ending up in a much smaller place without a yard, although no matter where we go they will have to accept pets, no negotiation there! Hopefully it will be NYC and we will have central park for a yard and our own balcony or private space, and  more free time and someone to help with walks.

Having a dog completes me. Yep, I’m an empty lonely girl without my pooches around. Love my hubby to death, thank god for my good friends and audiences on the ships that let me talk through the pain and loneliness. The bonding is great, the camaraderie is awesome and it helps to talk about it out loud. But man I miss a furball in my face. I’m like a stalker. I go to friends’ houses and while they are talking to me, I’m on the floor wrestling with their dogs. Or I walk down the street and grab strangers’ dogs while they are walking them and fondle them like a scary creepy kidnapper! I’m surprised they don’t run screaming into the night from me.  Even at immigration when I travel, I grab the drug dogs and start hugging, I’m surprised I haven’t been arrested! But I’m starved for the smelly, wet delicious kisses and snuggles ya get from a dog. People just don’t do it for me, like a furball does…LOL!!!!

For those of you that have dogs, you know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t I will fill you in a little bit.

When you come home, they look at you like you’ve been gone for years. Jumping up and down “OMG how could you desert me, where have you been, thank god you came back, where did you go, are you staying? Did you bring food,  I thought I was gonna die, I miss you I miss you I miss you”….and that’s just if you go out to get the mail.

There is no greater love/dependence/bond than a dog and his best friend! And I am telling you it is a healing thing too.  Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity. They are matchmakers!!!

And people that are allergic? Here is some info from researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided.”

However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies or asthma.

In his recent study, Gern analyzed the blood of babies immediately after birth and one year later. He was looking for evidence of an allergic reaction, immunity changes, and for reactions to bacteria in the environment.

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If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies — 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation.

“Dogs are dirty animals” we bathe them but they have that natural roll in the mud, bad skin, funky way….and this suggests that babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system,” Gern says.

I’ve always said that. On the ships they have sanitizer. They want ya to wash your hands a gazillion times a day. That’s good for ship life, too many people touching your food, touching each other, coming on board in a “closed” enviornment with colds so they should use sanitizer.

But when we were kids, there was no sanitizer!! We made mud pies, frosted them with worms, baked them in the driveway and ate them… and I licked up the antifreeze, that’s what made them sweet and delicious! Got a cold, get a cootie shot for gods sake! LOL….

Dogs are also date magnets. People that walk their dogs know how many people come up and go “awwww he’s so cute, can I pet him”…. And may the games begin.

Older people and sick people benefit from dogs as do hospitalized patients. My friend has a service dog, She went through training to become a hospital dog and visits hospitals and nursing homes. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. People in their beds just petting that dog, or having it lay next to them with it’s furry little head on their lap love it and say they have a new lease on life.

So personally, if you’re feeling blue, if you feel lonely, if you need a friend, if you have the time and want to give love and get love….rescue a pet. They need you!! You need them. There are magnets on cars that say it all….. Who saved Who?   And There is a poem in the rescue world…author unknown…

I Have Done Something

I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society.

I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness, and betrayal. And I was angry.

“God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?”

God was silent for a moment, and then He spoke softly, “I have done something,” he replied. “I created you.”

– Author Unknown

“Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal”

 

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