Dogs are extremely beneficial to human’s emotional and physical well-being and have proven to be a valuable ally in assisting and serving their communities. The dependable, devoted and lovable aspects of our loyal furry friends are what make many humans fall in love with these creatures. “Most [dogs] are just really cute and they’re good company and you can do more with them compared to cats,” said Maddi Carrew ‘22.
Four legged friends are able to bring comfort in a variety of ways. Dogs are able to pick up on human emotions and offer comfort to their owner, which makes them such supportive friends. “The comfort that dogs are able to bring touches people in a variety of circumstances — sometimes traumatic,” said Caren Osten in her article on Psychology Today.
Life brings stressful situations, and dogs offer an aid in assisting their people. “[Dogs] make good companions, they’re great just to have for a friend when you need one,” said Peytin Bresciano ‘23, dog lover and current HBHS student. “If I’m dealing with something that’s difficult in my life they’re really easy to go to and talk about it even though they won’t really talk back. They’re still there for you.”
Some studies have shown how dogs are linked to increasing human life spans.. One such study, conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden, shows that owning a dog is linked to a longer life. “People who lived alone with a dog had a 33% reduced risk of death, and an 11% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, than people who lived alone without a dog,” said Time Magazine writer, Amanda Macmillan.
In addition to extending their owners’ lives, these four legged friends are keeping their people active, reducing stress and adding meaning and purpose to one’s life and assisting those who need them most. “People love to be outside to walk their dog, and be with their dog,” says Kay Joubert, Director Companion Animal Services at PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support).
From being a family’s loyal companion to serving in the police force, dogs are a much needed and often overlooked resource in our society. For example, German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois are typical breeds used for police work due to their size, strong bite, and need to please. “Just their very presence is a deterrent to crime,” said Bill Castle of Castle K-9’s Training Center in Pennsylvania. “A canine’s superior sense of smell alone makes them a valuable law enforcement tool that saves lives and improves efficiency in overall police work.”
Along with police dogs, another way dogs assist human in day to day life is through service and therapy animals. “Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities,” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many people struggle with their own disabilities, both physical and mental, on a daily basis, and dogs are one way people can seek help with these struggles
There is also no certain breed that can be classified as a service dog. The main requirement is the service dog has to be a respectful member of society who brings little chaos to situations, and helps make their human’s life a little easier. By offering support and performing tasks that their owners may not be able to do on their own, service animals are a crucial tool for many people.
Many agree that their dog is a part of their family, we love them like family so they treat them like such. “Dogs are part of your family too, so it’s like a family member that you enjoy being around, and they’re just content being with you,” said an HB mother and puppy lover Joan Harper. The perfect companion that never leaves you feeling lonely has a dramatic affect on humans, which is what many appreciate about their dogs.
Not only are those furry four legged pals bringing joy to your family and you, but these creatures assist in countless other ways, from serving their communities to assisting those who can’t perform certain tasks on their own. The mental and physical benefits that dogs provide in a person’s day to day life are what make them (wo)man’s best friend.