I’m not the last person who should writing this, but I may be close.

I like dogs, and I probably could be someone who loves dogs, but mostly I don’t have much interaction with them.

When my siblings and I were kids, we begged our parents for a dog. After years of unrelenting pleading, my parents broke down and got us one. Sadly, it died as a puppy and we didn’t get another one because, in the short time we had him, my siblings and I broke our promise to do all the dog-related chores. It was my mom who ended up walking the dog most days, for example.

My siblings and I all thought we would get dogs when we had our own kids and my siblings have both done so. Marcie and I found the work of raising our three kids to be hard enough and decided we didn’t want another responsibility. As I used to joke when people asked me why we didn’t have a dog, “We already have three, small animals.”

Recently, a friend who had been dealing with heart-health issues told me his cardiologist recommended he get a dog. The reason: forced exercise. You have to walk your dog.

Companionship is another reason why dogs are good for your health. Maintaining relationships with people is often cited as a positive for health. The companionship of a dog is pretty awesome too.

Caring for a dog can also bring an enhanced sense of purpose. I remember many years ago when my brother’s family went on a vacation and we dog-sat. I was surprised to find how quickly I fell in love with Asher.

That happened again a one Christmas break when my son, Jeremy, came home from Detroit with a dog. He proceeded to leave Nara with me, Marcie, and our daughters for several days during a weekend trip he took with friends. When Jeremy went back to Detroit, none of us were kidding when we said we were sadder about Nara leaving than we were about Jeremy.

We all adore Jeremy, but we don’t take care of him any longer (and haven’t for quite some time), while Nara required our care—she counted on us to walk her and feed her, and just be with her, and as I learned when I became a dad, that creates a quick, and very special connection—one that can have a positive impact on your health (and your happiness).

I know many readers of this post are dog people in a way I’ll never be. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,