Why Dogs Are So Great

I was around 4 years old when my parents asked my big brother (age 6) and me if we would rather have a baby brother or baby sister. That was their way of letting us know that we were going to get one or the other.  Stephen and I had a brief discussion and proudly told our parents that we would rather have a dog. I mean, David was cute and all but we had to wait 2 more years before they got us the dog.  But it was well worth it – our lives (and those of my future family) were changed forever.


Blaze was a 2-year-old retired show dog whose owner, a colleague of my Dad’s, was looking to give him a nice family home. This beautiful Collie became my very own Lassie! (Fun fact: while the Lassie we saw on TV and in the movies was cast as a female dog, all 9 dogs who portrayed her were actually male.) Blaze was sweet and smart and cuddly and a great listener. He taught me about unconditional love, friendship, responsibility, empathy, and enjoying the simple things in life. Thankfully, since that time, I have never Not had a dog in my life. And that love has been happily passed not only to my husband (who didn’t have a dog growing up), but also to my 3 kids and their significant others. We currently have 5 dogs and a cat-puppy between us.

[This portrait of Blaze was actually painted by my Uncle Marshall, not by me; but I’m proud I got those artistic genes.]

While I’ve always known that dogs are great for so many reasons, there has been a lot of research over the years to substantiate why owning a dog is good for you. Here are a few:

  • Dogs get you to exercise more and spend time outside.
  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those who don’t have pets.
  • Dogs are great protection. Even if they might not attack, bad guys tend to stay away from homes with dogs.
  • Dogs improve your social life. Walking a dog automatically gives you a commonality with other dog walkers and makes you more likely to strike up conversations.
  • Dogs provide excellent companionship, to keep you from being lonely and alleviate your worries just by listening.
  • Dogs are very entertaining and often make you laugh.
  • Dogs are good for your health, according to Psychology Today, helping lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
  • Dogs give you unconditional love – no matter what, they always love you.

As you can see from some of my recent artwork (check out my website, Instagram, and Facebook pages), I enjoy capturing the essence of dogs and turning them into keepsakes, for fellow dog lovers.  If you’d like me to paint a pet for you or anyone you know who appreciates the finer glories of pets, email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to personalize something for you.