How Dogs Help Us Through Difficult Moments

May 01, 2020     |      Sophie's Circle

A senior citizen sitting on the beach with his dog.Few things in life are more dependable than the comfort of a beloved dog. There is a reason people who adopt a dog often display a "who rescued who" bumper sticker. True, dogs are wonderful pets and friends in the good times. However, like all true friends, their best qualities really stand out during life's hardest challenges and trials.

A Happy Greeting
Your emotional bucket may be nearly spilling over after a hard day at work or maybe a challenging time in your personal life. Then, you notice your dog's cheerful expression and pure uncontainable joy at seeing you either come home or show signs you are ready to spend time with him. Suddenly, your heart is full and your bucket is a little less overflowing for the moment. Even when things look pretty bleak, all it takes is time with your dog to realize there is something consistently positive and uplifting in your life to cherish. This is especially true when you know your rescue understands about life's trials yet is still eager to greet you each morning with a happy tail wag.

Always Ready for Snuggletime
Even people who are otherwise uncomfortable hugging other humans oftentimes enjoy the cozy warmth of a furry friend hug. Plus, these cuddles come with no strings attached. Your dog thinks everything you do and everything you are is just perfect with no changes or explanations required. No amount of makeup, missed workout sessions, failed test, diet, or employment status changes will make your dog love you any less or more than he already does. From the moment you bond with your adopted dog by caring for him and setting aside time to spend with him, you become his trusted friend, leader, and caretaker with no questions asked. With so much unwavering devotion, it's easy to feel the love in your heart when hugging your faithful companion. 

The Lovable Therapist Everyone Loves to Visit
Dogs bring us comfort in other ways as well. For example, he will visit with you when you are sick, perform tricks to make you smile when you are sad, and listen to your stories however long without critiquing your storytelling technique. So, when you have those hard days and feel down about something whether it is a personal matter or a difficult decision, talk about it with your dog in a safe judgment-free zone where you have a chance to open up and clear your thoughts.   

Keep Us Busy 
However, sometimes we need a break from thinking about something that is weighing on us. When you adopt a dog, you are agreeing to meet all his daily needs with walks, feedings, clean fresh water bowl fillings, grooming, training when needed, and bonding activities. When times are good and everything is going well, these tasks become part of your routine and you may not consider them to be anything more than a task that must be performed. But, did you know that your daily routine is also keeping your mind busy focusing on something comforting? Performing your checklist of chores for the day can help you feel confident in your abilities to care for your dog as well as provide a sense of control when you feel a situation is beyond your control.

Get Us Moving
We all know exercise releases endorphins that boost our mood. Therefore, your daily walks with your dog will enhance your mood as you also enjoy other walking benefits such as building muscle, increasing your cardiovascular and pulmonary functioning, and improving your circulation. In other words, caring for a dog is keeps you motivated to continue a healthy lifestyle, despite life's trials. 

Increase Our Chances for a Longer Life
Studies have shown such exercise habits alone decrease one's risk of developing such conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. When combining daily walks with the other benefits of owning a dog, your life expectancy is greater than going through life's trials without a faithful companion. This is because dogs help you stay motivated to stick with your routine and give you much-needed comfort, particularly in times where high levels of grief or anxiety are experienced. 

Help Us Connect With People
Are you an introvert who has trouble meeting new people? Perhaps social-distancing is keeping you from being able to connect with others. Being a part of a social network is also part of a well-balanced lifestyle. Since there are many dog lovers in the world who cannot wait to give your pooch a belly rub and dogs thankfully do not have to maintain a six-foot distance, your dog can introduce you to new people on the street who may otherwise walk swiftly by. Moreover, dogs arguably make some of the best viral videos and post-worthy topics on the Internet!

Thus, while life is not always going to go as planned and we will make mistakes along the way, it is good to know we have our dogs to help us through the difficult moments. They give us so much in return for so very little. We think every dog admirer should see how adopting a rescue can impact their health and happiness in ways that cannot be fully expressed. If you are interested in fostering or adopting a dog in need, please visit our adoption page to get started because finding the right dog can make all the difference.