The Benefits of a Dog

Jonathan - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“Maybe you should get a dog.”

If only more people heard this, there would be a general improvement in society as a whole. I believe that dogs are beneficial to people, helping to console them and bring happiness into their life. My dog has helped me to become a better person and to boost my mental perception of my self.

A few years ago, my grandpa, Zadie, had his life established. He was caring for my Bubie, his wife of thirty plus years. Then, Bubie died from breast cancer and his whole world was thrown in to turmoil. He had to go home to an empty house and an empty life. So my family got him a dog from the rescue shelter my sister volunteers at. It was a little daschund named Jasmine, a brown little bundle of joy. He soon bonded to the dog, because he felt like he was once again able to care for and about someone. Getting a dog helped him regroup his life.

My dog, Brandy, has helped me overcome a number of problems, emotional, physical, or family related. Brandy, a mutt who is part yellow lab and God only knows what else, was adopted from our local humane society. Her fearless attitude towards life has helped me become a better person. I have tried to follow and adopt her positive outlook on all things, and forget my petty worries. While I sit in school and fret about how boring it is, my dog is forced to stay home. She eagerly awaits my step off the bus, ready to be loved. Every meal of hers comes at the same time of the day, yet she never shows signs of complaint or resentment. Brandy is also comforting when I am upset, distracting when I am angry. Many people should look at their pets approach to life, and then think about how they can improve their own.

Throughout my childhood years, my dog has protected and cared for me. When my father was sick and in the hospital with Leukemia, my mother had to work extra to support me family. Brandy would come in to my room when I was home alone, and curl up against me to keep me company. She did more to help soothe me then anybody else ever did through talking. There were countless more times like this, when I broke my arm, when my parents would fight. Each time, I could expect to hear my dog trot down the hallway, nudge the door open, and come lie next to me.

Studies have shown that owning a dog helps lower the blood pressure of those with heart disease and the elderly. Even without those studies and more, many people know that having a dog is beneficial in some way. They help boost morale, help cheer you up and calm you down. They are the example of what a perfect friend would be, with their caring and compassion.