Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Big News -- Dogs Are Good for Us

I was in the car, driving home from doing my radio show, PetSmith, when the news came on. So I couldn't write down who funded the study, and have forgotten, but results of a study just came out that . . . wait for it. . . pets are good for us!
Whatever they paid for this study, I would have done it for half. Probably, you would have, too.
Though it's great to hear a report about some of the good things that dogs and other companion animals do for their people, it's hardly news. I'm sure there was a better use for whatever monies were spent on this study. . . maybe something to conquer some of the diseases we share with our dogs?
Some of the earthshaking results were that people who owned dogs were more successful at losing weight than those without dogs. Well, duh. Ever try to ignore your border collie mix when he hasn't had his walk yet today? It doesn't matter how many deadlines I'm trying to conquer, we're going for a walk, and it better be a long enough one.
Also, people with pets tended to be happier. Again, duh. They have a nonjudgmental ear to pour their troubles into. Something even well-meaning human friends and relatives don't always provide. They have the comfort of touch. They have another being who mostly wants to go through life having a good time. What's not to like?
I haven't seen the study yet in today's news reports, so I don't know anything else about it. But coming right from doing my radio show, where I answer questions from the audience along the lines of "my wife broke her leg at the dog park when she was run over by ten dogs, now who's going to exercise our Australian shepherd?", listening to the "news" that pets are a pretty essential part of life gave me a pretty rueful head shake on the state of the "news."

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