Tag Archives: dogs

22 Ways Dogs Make Humans Better – Infographic

My dog, Gabi, has her 15th birthday coming up and I thought this would be a nice pre-birthday post.

Wellness Secrets of a SuperAger

As a dog lover and fitness enthusiast, I had to love this poster and share it with you.

Regular readers know that my dog Gabi has been my companion for 14 years. She is my first dog in over 50 years. You can read the peculiar story of how I came to own her in this post: Anatomy of an Act of Kindness.

In case some of these benefits seem nebulous, check out my post What is the Value of Hugging? and also 10 Reasons Why Oxytocin Is The Most Amazing Molecule In The World for some documentation.



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Anatomy of an Act of Kindness

I am reblogging this as the subject of it – my dog Gabi – turns 12 years old today. I thought this would be an appropriate celebration of her birthday.


I shot this picture of her on a recent ride. She likes her sun hat.


Wellness Secrets of a SuperAger

I started this year encouraging Random Acts of Kindness as a super stepping off point toward being a happy person. I have seen over the period of writing this blog how many people abuse their bodies with food in their efforts to assuage real or imagined feelings of insecurity or as a misdirected way of dealing with stress. If they were happier at the outset, maybe they wouldn’t have a weight problem at all. The tags at the right with stress, happiness and relaxation will direct you to further items on these subjects.

Getting back to the act of kindness being dissected. I want to explain it from start to finish as I think there is some valuable information in it.

Gabi at 3 months chewing a ball …

It started some years ago when my ex-wife got a puppy for Kate, my daughter. Kate was 11 years old…

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Owning A Dog Is Good For Your Heart — Study Says What We All Knew

As a dog lover and owner I had to share this one with you along with a picture of my little canine companion who turns 12 next month.

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This is Gabi, who rides on the bike with me.


Our Better Health

It seems unconditional love from a fluffy, drooling canine is one key to a healthier life — as many people already expected.

A study of more than 3.4-million people revealed that having a dog in the house is linked to living a longer life. The research, published in Scientific Reports by Uppsala University in Sweden, reviewed a national registry of people aged 40 to 80 for up to 12 years. Just over 13 per cent were dog owners.

By evaluating health records, it found that registered dog owners had a lower risk of having heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions. It said owning a dog cuts down the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 36 per cent for people that live alone.

There is a slightly lower benefit to owning a canine for those who don’t live alone — the risk was cut by only 15 per cent. Researchers…

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Filed under aging, benefits of owning a dog, dog ownership, dogs, living longer, longevity, pets and well being, successful aging

Fitness fun …

I am expanding the scope of these ‘funnies’ somewhat today as I found some awesome GIFs that I thought you would enjoy. Also, I confess, I love the animal ones. What is it with cats and dogs and yoga?


Some amazing boarding …







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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, fitness, fitness funnies, yoga

For my friends from south of the border

Happy Cinco de Mayo!



Could not resist this one!


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The emotions of our most beloved animal friend: our dog.

I found this on the Learning from Dogs blog which I follow and enjoy reading very much. I thought my readers would enjoy it. There is nothing in it on losing weight or exercising, although I think the happiness I get from owning my dog contributes to my living longer.

As a dog owner and dog lover, I have a thought to share. In writing my blog I have taken a number of courses in human anatomy in general and the human brain in particular. I understand that our prefrontal lobes (above our eyes) are what separate us from the animal world. Our conscience and impulse control reside there. The prefrontal lobes are the last part of the brain to develop, often not until we reach adulthood, or age 25. (This explained to me a lot of my wild and dangerous activity as a youth, also why teenagers do such seemingly stupid things.) My understanding is that dogs don’t have prefrontal lobes, so they don’t have impulse control like humans. I don’t think they know ‘right from wrong.’

If we are cooking out and leave a steak on a table, walk away and the dog takes it, I don’t think the dog has done anything wrong. Understanding that the dog doesn’t know right from wrong, but simply sees food available and takes it, I don’t think the dog should be punished. It was just being a dog and following its nature. The human should have known better and not been careless about good food.

If you have taught the dog the ‘leave it’ command and told the dog to ‘leave it’ the dog will likely obey the command and not take the steak, but that is because it is obedient and following your order, not because it is choosing on its own to leave the steak because it belongs to you.

To read further on the brain, please check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

This is Gabi, my canine companion.

This is Gabi, my canine companion.


Learning from Dogs

Exploring the range of emotions felt and displayed by our dogs.

Like so many bloggers, I subscribe to the writings of many others. Indeed, it’s a rare day when I don’t read something that touches me, stirring up emotions across the whole range of feelings that we funny humans are capable of.

Such was the case with a recent essay published on Mother Nature Network. It was about dogs and whether they are capable of complex emotions. Better than that, MNN allow their essays to be republished elsewhere so long as they are fully and properly credited.

Thus, with great pleasure I republished the following essay written by Jaymi Heimbuch.


Are dogs capable of complex emotions?

Exactly what emotions do dogs feel, and are they capable of all the same emotions as humans? (Photo: Pressmaster/Shutterstock) Exactly what emotions do dogs feel, and are they capable of all the same emotions as humans? (Photo: Pressmaster/Shutterstock)

Joy, fear, surprise, disgust, sadness. These are the basic emotions dogs feel…

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

There are going to be lots of hearts and flowers circulating today. If you are one of the V-Day faithful, I hope you get a chance to enjoy the festivities. If you don’t  have a romantic involvement right now, cheer up. You can still be healthy and happy without hearts or flowers.


I have had friends over the years who got really bummed out on Valentine’s Day because they were not in a relationship. They felt ‘left out’ by all the romance and affection around them.

Sophie Tucker famously said, “I have been rich and I have been poor. Rich is better.” As far as being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, I have had one at times and also been without. While I am lucky enough to have someone special in my life to celebrate with, I think it’s a mistake to get depressed and negative if you do not.

My pooch, Gabi, good for my heart.

My pooch, Gabi, good for my heart.

For the past 10 years I have remained on the sidelines of romantic involvement, but I was lucky to have a dog in my life so, I have not been without companionship besides a circle of friends.

Speaking of hearts and dogs, I was interested to learn that having a dog in your life actually lowers your chances of getting heart disease.

Dr. Karen Becker enumerated a number of positive benefits of owning a dog, including:

• Most people with dogs are more physically active than non-dog owners, because canine companions need walks, exercise and playtime. No measurable increases in physical activity have been reported in owners of other types of pets.
• Generally speaking, people who walk their dogs also weigh less.
• Pet owners receive emotional and social support from their companions. Pets provide encouragement and motivation, and they have a positive effect on stress levels.
• In people with heart disease, owning a pet of any kind can increase survival rates — dog ownership in particular.

I would hasten to add that while having a dog can provide real heart health benefits, that isn’t the reason you should get one. You should be thinking positively towards the animal not yourself.

Dr. Becker says, “I don’t recommend acquiring an animal companion simply to improve your own health. It’s important to be motivated by a desire to provide a long, healthy life for your pet, and to strive always to deepen the bond you share.”

Whether you are in a relationship or have a pet or not, you can enjoy some chocolate anyway.

Just don’t overdo it.

If you would like to read how Gabi came into my life, my first dog in over 50 years, check out Anatomy of an act of kindness.


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Filed under dogs, heart, heart disease, Valentine's Day

Playing With Fido is Good for You – National Institute on Aging

Being physically active can be more fun when you’re with someone else, but that someone else doesn’t have to be human, according to Everyday Fitness Ideas from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

As a dog owner and dog lover, these suggestions resonated with me.

Besides walking her, I also take my dog when riding on my bike.

Besides walking her, I also take my dog when riding on my bike.

The NIA suggested the following:
Set up a routine and have fun.
*Dogs, like people, are creatures of habit. Go for walks and play about the same time each day. Check out my Page – Why you should walk more  to learn more about other healthy aspects of walking.
*Make a plan with a neighbor to walk the dogs together.
*Take a brisk walk to your local dog park.
*Be imaginative. Walks are great, but consider other activities, too.
*A game of catch is a classic.
*Agility training—create a mini-obstacle course in your yard or at the park; together, move around, through, and even under the items.

Keep safety in mind.
*Stay hydrated. On long walks, bring water for both you and your dog. Check out the water tag on the right to read more about the importance of hydration.
*In hot weather, go out in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler.
*In cold and snowy weather, wear boots with good traction. Check your dog’s paws and remove snow and ice from his foot pads.
*Check yourself and your dog for ticks if you’ve been walking in the woods together.

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Kids with Dogs Exercise More

The University of Virginia just released a study which showed that teenagers with dogs get about 15 more minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity than teens who don’t have any pets.

The finding was unexpected because the researchers had anticipated the dog-walking responsibilities would be taken by the parents. “We hypothesized it would have an effect on adults, but we didn’t see that. We saw it in the kids,” study researcher John Sirard, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said.

Despite the link between dog ownership and teenagers’ physical activity, researchers said they could not be certain that getting a dog would encourage people to be more active. It could be that more active people choose to have dogs, because the pet already fits their lifestyle, Sirard said.

As a dog owner very interested in both exercising and dog ownership, I have some thoughts on the subject.

First of all, I came to dog ownership almost by accident. I hadn’t owned a dog nor wanted one since I was a child. My ex-wife got a puppy for my daughter and they had a lot of problems dealing with it. Every time I spoke with them on the phone I heard a new horror story about what Gabi had chewed up now. When I heard that the pup had chewed on furniture, I realized she was not long for their world. I knew my ex was going to get rid of it some day when my daughter was at school and that would be that.

My dog Gabi at 12th St. Beach in the wind.

I didn’t want my daughter to lose her puppy, so I offered to take the dog on weekends in ‘split custody.’ That way my ex could have several days of relief and things should get smoother. After several weeks, however, I realized that they didn’t know how to handle the dog and she was unhappy being with them, so I kept her at my place, but said she was my daughter’s dog who lived with me.
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