As National Rescue Dog Day approaches on May 20, let’s flip the script, and think about the ways that sometimes our dogs rescue us:
- Inspiration – Little did I know when we adopted a dog in 2003 that my life would soon go to the dogs! The original Inquisitive Canine, Poncho Gonzales Hunter Mayer sparked my interest in understanding the science of animal learning. Poncho knew a lot about human and canine behavior and helped inspire me to bring a humane, force-free approach to pet care. To this day, all we do at The Inquisitive Canine is for the love of dog!
- Education – According to the website, nationalrescuedogday.com, one way to “share the puppy love” in observance of the day is to, “Teach young children the importance of kindness, unconditional love, and responsible care of all animals.” Our animal teachers are communicating with us all the time. When we listen, at any age, we can benefit from their wisdom.
- Friendship – Our Best Fur Friends (BFFs) can offer comfort and security in a sometimes chaotic world. They’re nonjudgmental, listen to us when we need an unbiased ear, snuggle when we need a snuggle, do something silly when we need a laugh, and love with their whole hearts. “When it comes to four-legged friends, they improve the human condition by leaps and bounds, barks, and yips. It’s hard to imagine a more loving, worthy companion,” states the National Rescue Dog Day site. We agree.
- Motivation – And it’s not only our emotional needs that they nurture. Dogs help out when it comes to our need for physical activity too. Maybe becoming more active by walking is something you’ve wanted to do, and your inquisitive canine motivates you to get out of the house. “Hey, get off the couch and go for a walk in the sunshine!” just sounds better coming from your pup than from that little annoying voice in your head. Some studies even suggest that dog guardians may have a “lower risk of death over the long term” (Kramer et al., 2019). Is it the companionship? Is it the exercise? Does it really matter?
- Fun – Above all, simply having fun with your pet is a great way to strengthen the bond you share, while being reminded to stop and smell the treats now and again.
How has your inquisitive canine rescued you? We’d love to know!
Kramer, C. K., Mehmood, S., & Suen, R. S. (2019). Dog Ownership and Survival: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes, 12(10), e005554. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005554