In Honor Of Shilo - A Dog Above Dogs

Who makes you laugh, is more loyal, or loves you more than . . . your dog?

I have been a dog lover, and have had dogs most of my life. One of my dearest and best friends was my Rottweiler, Shilo. I say she was "mine" very loosely! I originally bought her as a gift for my husband, but she soon became my best friend and lifesaver.

In my early 30's I became really sick with what became a chronic condition. Shilo was my constant companion and we became deeply connected.

One night, I became ill and had to run to the bathroom. It wasn't a constant symptom, but happened from time to time. As I was getting sick in the bathroom, I hear Shilo getting sick in the bedroom! On my bed!

Fortunately that only happened once! But I will never forget it, and could never figure out a reasonable explanation, except that I was getting sick!

Shilo became ill with a degenerative spinal disease some years later when she was 8 years old and couldn't walk. We had her put to sleep so she wouldn't suffer. It was the hardest and most painful thing we ever had to do. Several years went by before we could bring ourselves to have another dog.

The Magic That Is Dogs

Dogs have become so domesticated, that research is uncovering all kinds of new connections between them and us. There are studies by Japanese researchers available that show that when dogs and their people gaze into each others eyes, the hormone oxytocin is released. In both dog and owner!

This is the hormone that comes from the brain, and is associated with nurturing and attachment. The emotional connection created is the very same one between a parent and child.

The domestication of dogs has happened over hundreds and thousands of years of living with people. It is thought that their connection with us to this point has been the result of learning to follow our eye movements in order to understand what we are saying.

Another study shows that dogs have the mental capacity of a two-year old child. Is it any wonder why we connect with them so emotionally, and tend to treat them like children? It's really no surprise! All dog lovers already know this!

These wonderful creatures have evolved to become smart, emotional, protective and loyal companions. I am sure you are aware of the many strides that have been made in training companion dogs for all kinds of ailments, from seizure disorders to post traumatic stress disorder. It is truly amazing how these dogs are so loving and patient.

I can't find the exact study for this information, but Pitbulls, because they are such tactile animals are supposed to make great service dogs for autistic children. Lot's of other studies show the benefit our furry friends have on our health.

Over 60% of Americans have pets, and roughly 37% have dogs. Having a dog as a companion:

reduces stress
we are less likely to suffer from depression
lowers heart rate and blood pressure
provides sleep better at night and are sick less often
we get more exercise
can make you feel just like human friendship does
lower cholesterol levels
Dogs have even been found to detect cancer, and low blood sugar!

Dogs Can Literally Heal Broken Hearts

A couple of years ago I had a relapse of the same chronic condition. I spent a year making my way back to a somewhat normal existence, during which time I suffered a heart attack. Having a dog has also been shown to improve your chances of recovery from a heart attack or heart disease!

I can thank my little Yorkshire Terrier, Annie, and my Blue Nose Pitbull, Maya for the extra love and support!

An article for Harvard Health Publications says that having a dog, more than say, a cat, is healthier for your heart! And it's not just because we walk our dogs and get more exercise!

While these researchers aren't quite ready to prescribe getting a dog for heart health, they are pretty convinced that dogs are good for us mentally and physically.

I spend a lot of time alone because I am not working outside my home now. I was able to find a wonderful training academy that teaches people how to become online entrepreneurs. It has really helped me feel more empowered to be able to learn and grow in building a business, but I would have been lost without my canine companionship!

Owning a dog, or two, or three is certainly not easy all the time, but the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. With patience, time and love you can have a wonderful companion that will love you completely and unconditionally and may even improve your health! That is the beauty of dogs.

Author's Bio: 

I want to create a grass-roots movement toward becoming radical encouragers and positive thinkers in the public and business realms. As William Wallace (Mel Gibson) cried out in Braveheart, "FREEDOM"!

We want freedom from the negative thoughts and lies that keep us stuck. Stuck in unhealthy relationships, bad jobs, stuck in our own heads, or stuck in a rut.

I have been married for almost 35 years to the same wonderful, supportive, loving - yet sometimes taxing man! He would say the same of me!

We have two fantastic kids whom we love with all our hearts and are very proud of, five super special grand kids, (I am a "Mimi", I have bragging rights) and two adorable canine adopted kids that let us live in the house with them. Not to mention saltwater fish and corals that are part of my addictive reef keeping hobby.

When I was in my early thirties I was hit hard by a condition called CFIDS, or Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as CFS, and ME in the U.K. for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I was flat on my back for a year, and it took me a few years after that to return to a somewhat normal lifestyle.

A couple of years ago I was hit with a relapse of the condition while I was working full-time and going to school part-time, trying to get a degree. I spend 6 months flat on my back again, and during this time suffered from a heart attack. We aren't sure why, but I believe it was a byproduct of this condition.

Now, I have good days and not so great days, depending how "good" I am about monitoring my activities. I have a type A personality, so it's difficult for me to reign myself in sometimes!

I am determined not to let this condition define me as a person, or hold me back from realizing my dreams.

I am passionate about business and anything entrepreneurial. I believe that small businesses of all kinds are the foundation of this country. I have, in fact, owned a brick & mortar business, and am now mastering internet marketing which I can do from home, at my pace.