Is having a dog worth the bite?

The Bertone's dog, Suki

Zoe Bertone

The Bertone's dog, Suki

Ben Lombardi, Staff Writer

In 1991, there were one hundred and seventeen million pets in the United States, and over half of all families in America own at least one pet, as stated by Huffington Post. Many of theses family pets include dogs. But most people don’t consider their dogs to be a pet. Most believe that their dogs are part of the family.

 

Dogs have proven to be fantastic buddies to have, and there is evidence that animal companionship reduces loneliness and gives a person a sense of well being. Lizzy Wagstaff ‘16 is the owner of a pomeranian named Bella. She says that she  loves [her] dog and [doesn’t] know what [she] would do without her.” The companionship she shows her is like no other.

 

Studies show dogs can help particularly among divorced, never married, and widowed people. Dogs are able to help people that are going through difficult periods of time because dogs give and receive affection. Another example of the wide age range that pets are able to help with, is that pet therapy has been successful with children, people suffering from depression, and elderly people that live alone in a nursing home.

 

The benefits for teenagers having a dog are vast as well. Having something to care deeply about, if not love, and having to take care of it can help a child learn great responsability. Most children nowadays grow up with a dog or some kind of pet.

 

Teens can sometimes feel misunderstood, and just plain dumped on as they are caught between being children and being adults. There is a small line between being responsible for the decisions teens make and having to ask permission for the things they want to do. Having a dog can become a very strong and positive interactions for troubled teens, providing them with love and emotional support as well as teaching responsibility.

 

I talked to Peter Bertone ‘16 about his four year old German Shepherd, and he agrees that his dog isn’t just merely a pet, but a family member.

 

Junior sister to Peter Bertone, Zoe Bertone, told me about how Suki relieves her from a lot of the stress that comes from her school work. Not only does she relieve her stress but they both receive health benefits from walking and running with her.

 

It is apparent that dogs become more than just a pet, but a family member. But this family member comes with a vast amount of benefits, such as unconditional love and compassion, stress relief, responsibility, and even health benefits for the both of you.