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Be Merry & Paw-sitive

By: Sheryl Matthys | Dec 7 2008 | 688 words | 1048 hits

While the economy may not have us so cheerful - dogs always help us to remember to be happy! It's been proven petting a dog can relieve stress - so now is the best time to bring a dog into your home. Give yourself the perfect present that will have you a better person for others ? and that truly is the best gift for everyone in your life.

Now, even though the pet industry has more than doubled in ten years, reaching more than 43 billion dollars in sales -- don?t worry ? you don?t have to spend a fortune. First, look to your area shelter to adopt and lift your spirits as well as be the hero to a dog.

How does a dog lift your spirits? Laughing and playing with your dog can lead to: reduced risk of heart disease, decreased stress, lower blood pressure, a boosted immune system, a natural painkiller for your system, massaging of your abdominal organs, a natural anti-depressant, and reduced blood sugar levels which will help keep diabetes at bay. We may want to ask ourselves what?s stopping us from gaining all these benefits right now? Start bringing in the laughs and play ? even if it feels stilted at first.

And, the best benefit (I think) is that laughing can actually make you look younger and that?s reason enough to do it more! While laughing, your facial muscles are working out, which increases the blood flow around your face.

So back to the dog itself that?s going to bring you stress relief. It happens in a circuitous manner with your first mate drooling at the bit to help. Here?s the key - don?t think pet and owner; don?t think master and beast; don?t think pack leader and follower ? in this instance, think friend and partner; think counselor and co-conspirator. This will start you off in a new direction by improving all your relationships. Remember, this is not just about slowing down and communicating with your dog; it?s about learning how your dog communicates, and seeing the world through your dog?s eyes to help you have better relationships with human beings ? the people we love, cherish and want to understand better in our lives.

Stress Relief To Do List:

1. Adopt a dog ? Be a hero!
2. Participate in dog training classes, agility, Reiki, dog therapy, T-touch ? A great way to learn something for you and your dog while meeting others.
3. Talk with your dog ? Dogs don?t judge what you say and they won?t throw it back in your lap later.
4. Walk with your dog ? Dogs need about 30 minutes of exercise everyday and so do you!
5. Socialize with your dog ? Dogs are the perfect ice-breaker and take part in social communities to make more connections with dog lovers world-wide.

All the above items bring relief to one?s physical, mental, and emotional well being ? more than going to the gym three times a week. With a dog you gain the benefits of a workout, the results of a shrink, and the social activities to put that spark back in your life. Just ask Bruce Goldstein, author of Puppy Chow is Better than Prozac. He claims getting a dog saved him from the black hole of depression.

To think that dogs can comprehend so many of the complexities of human emotions without ?speaking our language? Dogs ?read? our emotions, our tears and fears, our anger and our hurt through our body language.

Perhaps that explains why so many women feel completely comfortable bringing their dogs into social situations they might not otherwise be comfortable in alone. I met Wendy and her dog at a Leashes and Lovers event. I asked her, ?Did you come by yourself?? ?I did,? confessed Wendy. I inquired, ?Would it have been difficult for you without your dog by your side?? Wendy agreed. ?When I have my dog, it makes it much easier for me?Guys want to talk to you, and girls want to know where you got your dog?s sweater?? And, with her dog by her side, she can hear ?behind the words? for the truth into others? intentions.

About author:
As the Dogsexpert, and Founder of , Sheryl Matthys talks with dog lovers on how their dogs impact their personal relationships. Leashes and Lovers offers online connections where dog lovers can search and connect around the world for friendship, doggie playdates, same breed of dog, and possibly love! Sheryl has two children, two greyhounds and is a certified dog trainer.
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    Merry & Paw-sitive

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