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The Key to Good Health – Owning a Pet

March 8, 2012

A few weeks ago, a stray dog wandered in to my sister’s barn. You may remember from this post or this picture, that my sister trains horses and riders for the equestrian sport of eventing. She spends the winter months in Ocala, Florida where there are a lot of stray animals roaming around. This cute pup decided he wanted to live in her barn and Jess, having a soft spot for animals was not about to turn him away.

Cute Stray Pup

However, she already owns two dogs and is not looking for another one. I, on the other hand would LOVE to have a dog and after she texted me his picture I knew he needed to come live in Virginia. So, earlier this week I made a quick trip to pick him up. He is scared of most things and was timid of me at first, but now we are buds! So everyone, be prepared…there may be quite a few pictures of this cute guy (who I named Oakley) showing up here from time to time!

Not only will I love having a running, hiking, and snuggling buddy but research has shown there are numerous health benefits associated with pet ownership. From decreased cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, a lower risk of cardiac disease, and decreased rates of depression, to better physical activity habits – and more – pets truly have the ability to help us lead happier and healthier lives. Check out this Slide show on WebMD about 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Life to learn more!

Are you a pet owner? What kind of animal(s) do you have? What ways do they improve your life?

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 10:42 pm

    Awww, Oakley is precious! I am totally okay with you putting up tons of photos of him! We have a dog and we love him. Currently we are doggie sitting for a friend too so we have two 50lb dogs in the house, haha! :)

    • March 12, 2012 10:42 am

      Your pup is such a cutie too! Two 50# dogs sounds like fun and a tail-wagging mess all at the same time! :-)

  2. March 9, 2012 12:56 pm

    He’s so cute, and I love the name! I have two kitties. They keep my healthy by reducing my stress. Coming home to someone peering out the door waiting for you always brings a warm n’ fuzzy feeling.

  3. Ali permalink
    March 9, 2012 2:22 pm

    What a cutie! I can tell you from experience rescue dogs are so loyal and loving. The most amazing friends;).

  4. March 9, 2012 7:01 pm

    SO FUN!!!!! He is precious!!! I love him and I don’t know him! :) aaarf!
    I have 2 cats from the rescue…Stan and Clove and I love them SO MUCH. They are so fun! I do want a dog though too!!!
    Have fun with the pup! Look forward to more pics of him!!!

    • March 12, 2012 10:43 am

      I’m sure he would love you too! He is a bit shy, but such a snugglebug once he gets comfortable!

  5. March 10, 2012 3:21 pm

    He is just adorable! That is so sweet of you to take him in. I have two cats and just love having them around. They are such a comfort to me and really keep me company. I would love to get dogs one day also.

  6. March 11, 2012 9:24 pm

    OMG so cute! I want a dog so so so bad but E and I travel way to much right now. We also live in a very small apartment that wouldn’t be enough room to house the dog that we want. So cute I can’t wait for you to post lots of pics!

  7. March 12, 2012 10:32 am

    What a sweetie! You are both lucky to have found each other :-) I have had pets all my life, and so true about the health benefits. Right now we have Harry the Labradoodle who is just a super sweet BIG dog who thinks he’s a la dog! We also have 2 guinea pigs, Lance and Lily, and, recently, an outdoor cat, Buttercup. She is an older stray. I am allergic, so can’t keep her in the house, but we have given her a house, litter box, and food in our backyard and she is quite content. Enjoy your new furry friend!

    • March 12, 2012 10:44 am

      It seems the big ones always think they are the size of a toy poodle and should be able to sit in your lap all the time – on the couch, while driving, etc!

  8. March 12, 2012 4:27 pm

    My son (who is 2) would absolutely love me forever if we got a dog. It’s in the works…

  9. March 12, 2012 11:25 pm

    awww how sweet! We have a basset named Lucky that we adopted from the basset rescue. He is quite the character and great to have around :) love animals because they are always so happy, have fun!

  10. March 13, 2012 10:29 am

    This is such a great story! I am glad you wanted to show him off on Chocolate-Covered Katie. :)

    I love stories like this in which a dog in need finds the right person in need. Enjoy getting to know each other. Looks like he is going to be a great pal.

    • March 13, 2012 10:44 am

      I would show him off everywhere if I could! :-) I now uderstand why people post so many pictures of their children on facebook haha

  11. Jess permalink
    March 20, 2012 7:25 am

    This guy looks like a total sweetheart :) Do you have any idea of his age?
    We have four cats and a very skittish coon hound, a rescue dog from Tennessee. While they definitely require a little extra TLC (coon hounds are notoriously energetic and require daily walks just to keep from bursting) they’re definitely worthwhile for the companionship.

    • March 20, 2012 10:25 am

      The vet my sister 1st took him too estimated him to be about 6 months in February, but last week his vet here estimated he is closer to 9 months. Probably seemed younger at first because he was so malnourished and thin, but now that he is on a regular diet he has filled out a bit and experienced some “catch up” growth!

      Love that you have a rescue. All of my pets have been rescues throughout my life and they are the best! :-)

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