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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's a Dog's Life, and That's Great!

Poor Missy, sitting there trying to decide what to do next ... Go inside where the sofa is waiting for her, and the possibility of a snack from one of the human members of the pack, or stay outside and maybe find a critter to chase and eat. It sure is a hard life, being a dog.

Of course some dogs never get the option of going inside, let alone have their own sofa. Some dogs don't even have a house at all, they roam the streets, endangering their own life and causing havoc amongst stock in farming areas, or terrifying innocent people and pets.

The origin of the term "It's a dog's life", related to outside dogs, where these dogs had to work for the scraps of food that made up all of the food they received, and their accommodation was more likely to be damp hessian sacks and not much else. Times have changed, and now domestic pets are usually kept in luxurious accommodation that would never be seen by many people living in some parts of the world.

Should first world pet owners like me feel guilty about this? Is there anything they can do to help? The answer is 'Yes' to both of those questions. There are many good charities out there, doing their best to help people who through circumstances beyond their control are living in terrible situations. At the moment, the TV screens have footage of the devastation caused by earthquakes in Nepal.

World Vision is one such charity, but there are many others who are doing wonderful things to try to help others. Helping others is surely the most humane thing a person can ever do. Whether it's caring for you pets well, or donating to charity, it's a good thing to consider, always.

People weren't born to live in isolation. People, like dogs, are pack animals to some extent. Not much feels better than doing something nice for somebody else. This kind action releases hormones, that make a person feel good. These hormones are Endorphins, labelled the "feel good" hormones. So doing good things for people not only helps them, but it helps you too.

Dogs, I'm sure, get a buzz from being with people, loving them, being a part of their family. Petting a dog can release "feel good" hormones too, which could explain part of why dogs and humans get on so well together. From destruction of pests, to guarding from danger, and getting rid of excess food, through to these "feel good" hormones, it's a great partnership.

Do you have a dog who's got a great life? I know I do. I have four of them in fact!



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