Dogs are great! They’re always happy to see you, they’ll always cuddle in front of your favourite movie with you (no matter how lame it is) and they always give you a reason to go outside and get active! To anyone suffering with joint problems, I’d highly recommend a pet dog. My gorgeous boy Sefton was there the day the first (and worst) sprain happened, and though he wasn’t much of a hero, he did make a good blanket while I lay on the ground awaiting rescue.
Why should the eternally injured keep pets, I hear you ask, surely it’s just a recipe for disaster? While having a dog may run the risk of you falling over it, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I spend a lot of time practically housebound while my *insert joint name here* causes problems, and my family all get bored of me pretty quickly…even the cat! Not Sefton though, he’ll happily laze about at my feet for hours, listen while I moan and, providing he brings the ball back, will even indulge in a game of fetch with me. You just can’t put a price on friendship like that, I tell you.
I will at some point in the future bleat on with the numerous benefits of going for a walk, but the fact that having a dog gets you out of the house is possibly the greatest reason to get a dog. I’m aware that I spent the last paragraph saying how great a dog’s companionship is, but it’s not enough. Having a dog gives you an easy conversation starter with the people you meet on your travels, and you get to join the prestigious community of dog walkers while your dog has a great time playing with their dogs, that’s a win:win situation. Knowing other dog owners means that, if you have a day where walking is particularly difficult, you can watch your pet wear himself out playing with their dogs, while you merely stand and observe. While I wouldn’t promote this as regular behaviour, it provides a sort of get-out-clause on the days where we are losing the battle with our bodies.
Walking is a great (and easy) form of exercise, and provided you are wearing sensible footwear you should encounter no problems. All exercise is good exercise, and all exercise is a step towards a healthier you, so something as simple as walking shouldn’t be discarded. Nowadays there are so many different options available to you that we sometimes forget the simplest options that are always available to us. In my eyes, anything that gets your heart rate up constitutes as exercise. For those who are afraid of falling over, having a dog means you’ll never be alone should anything happen to you. I’ve fallen over several times, so I am aware of the dangers walking can entail for the clumsiest of us, but Sefton’s a great motivator, waiting on the other end of the lead as I get to my feet..and wanting to get him home and fed is a reason to get back up in itself, I’d never want to see him suffer on account of me.
Of course there would be cons to keeping a dog; vet bills on top of medicine costs, you never get a day off (not even Christmas) and they eat more food than they can possibly fit inside them. In my opinion though, it’s a small price to pay. You get your own personal trainer, someone to warm up your poor, stiff feet on cold nights, and a creature who is so full of boundless optimism you forget why you were ever feeling down in the first place.
PROUD DOG OWNER ALERT: Here’s a few pics, bonus points to anyone who can guess the breed/breeds!
LOOK HOW CUTE HE WAS! And small….not sure how he grew into this…
But he’s still a handsome boy, even if he’s not the biggest fan of the camera!