Cant AdoptTake a Dog for a Walk

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Cant AdoptTake a Dog for a Walk

by Valentina Bellicova



If you cast envious glances at people walking their dogs, and long for the companionship of man?s best friend, but owning one of your own is not an option at this point, despair not. You can tousle the shaggy coat of a sheltie, scratch the ear of a shepherd or toss a stick for the lab to retrieve without actually owning one. Both you and the dog will enjoy yourselves, it won?t cost you a penny and you will do a lot of good too!

Of course the reality is that the sheltie will in all likelihood be a cross, the shepherd only vaguely identifiable as such only because it is the dominant breed of several present and the same may be said for the lab. Frisky, friendly, loving and eager to please, they spend most of their days behind barred doors in hopes that the next human to walk through the door will free them from the shackles of a crime they did not commit. Where is this place, you ask. How terrible! What can I do about it?

I refer of course to the SPCA and your local animal shelter which are not terrible at all. Thank goodness that such facilities exist, otherwise who knows what fate would await these animals who have outlived their usefulness and have been tossed out on the ?redundant? dog scrap heap. Thank goodness that there is a temporary shelter for that lovable mutt ? some good loving care, food, vet help, exercise - for perhaps a week or a tad longer and then hopefully a new home.

The shelters all over the country are filled to capacity and manpower is often stretched to the limit. Dogs need to socialize both amongst themselves and with humans and can fall into depression if this very important activity is curtailed. You can help. Pick a day, or two or more and decide that these will be your dog walking days. Or, if you have total time flexibility, call up your local animal shelter and ask them when your help would be most welcome.

Now you have a walking companion. Here are just some benefits:

- By taking on the chore of walking a dog or two, you will free up some valuable time for the employees of the center who can then devote more of their time and attention to other much needed activities.

- Dogs need exercise. So do people. Too many of us succumb to the lure of the couch and the numbing programs we find on TV. Is it any wonder then that we are becoming an overweight nation. Walking as little as just half an hour a day or at least an hour three times a week helps us keep those unwanted pounds away from us and the result is a healthier you.

- You?ll develop new friends ? granted most of them will answer to double syllable names like Plato, Snoopy, Darby and more. You?ll be met with an enthusiastic welcome, smothered with slobbery kisses, hugged to bits with eagerness and gratefully thanked with heart melting glances. You?ll get no backtalk and won?t need to worry if you?re dressed right or know the latest in hip talk.

- Research shows that dogs have a calming effect on us. Studies indicate that after being in the company of a dog for a half hour or more, tension and stress levels are significantly reduced in humans. Walking a dog takes your mind off a problem or more importantly, gives you the quiet time to think things through without pressure. - Fresh air ... enough said. Everyone knows that fresh air stimulates the brain and increases our mental capacity. - You?ll learn and grow. You?ll learn more about animals and when the time is right you will be better prepared to care for a pooch of your own. .

Here in my own back yard, there is a small group of very youthful senior citizens. They call themselves the K-nines. Three mornings a week they head off to the local SPCA and make a lot of dogs happy. Word is getting out in the community and others are either joining this group or starting their own. It all began with just one woman who loved dogs but lived in an apartment that did not allow pets. Oh yes, on each outing this motley crew walks 9 kilometers which is just a little over 5 miles. Are they having a good time? You bet! Are they getting fit? Yup! Are they helping their community? Absolutely! Can you do the same? Why not? Can't adopt? Walk!

Valentina Bellicova is a world traveller, an author and a public speaker. An ardent student of life she observes that every human is bettered for having had a dog in their life. Visit Valentina's online dog emporium at http://www.sitbooboosit.com



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