Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Puppy Love

Our new pup. (photo: NHS)

Meet Quincy. He’s our brand new puppy. As I write this, he’s snuggled up right at my feet. How did he learn that so quickly?

I grew up in a dog-skeptic (certainly agnostic) family. There were concerns about my sister’s allergies (probably more with cats), costs, hassles, responsibilities, limitations on travel, etc. I never learned to value pets, except for some short-lived goldfish.

Luckily, my wife grew up with dogs. She’s not only experienced, she’s smart. She prepared me and the kids for the responsibilities, the benefits, and the tradeoffs. I have a pretty good idea that when the kids’ infatuation phase with Quincy diminishes, I’m going to be the one doing much of the ‘work.’ I’m OK with that.

I’ve read up on the ‘health benefits’ of dog ownership. In a couple of days I can already see and anticipate further the tremendous emotional rewards for our whole family, Quincy included. There will be physical benefits, too. Here is but one example of research showing that people regularly walking a dog are healthier on average than those who don’t. A lot of this reinforces the simple, clear message I’ve shown before: just walk. Dog or no dog.


  1. Justine

    I wouldn’t underestimate the health benefits of the emotional value of having a dog in the family, especially, perhaps, for teenagers. Unconditional love coming at you every day at home can be quite cathartic.

  2. Mindy

    I too was an agnostic about dog ownership until I both had dogs and became close to other family members who owned them. Certainly the walking is a great bonus but there is nothing more relaxing than having a loving dog sit by your side, your feet or just be next to you. Its like when cats purr!- I often wonder if one can demonstrate a change in brain waves as we relax and get lost in the moment. Quincy is adorable- life with a new puppy (the whole adorable puppy phase) could be the subject for another whole blog!- love to your terrific family- Mindy

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