This post was sponsored by Milk-Bone® as part of a Two-Post Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I had to step away from the computer, TWICE, before starting this post. The first time was to give my Athena a BIG hug, and the second time was to grab a box of tissues (or two) because the video in this post is SO meaningful. Don’t miss watching it!
When I was a little kid we never had a dog, despite our constant begging! Little did we know that my parents had their eyes on the prize and surprised us with a Valentine’s Day Samoyed when I was nine. Oh, how I loved that dog! She was more than a dog to us. She was everything. I mean, imagine just having a normal Friday night in February, and then your mom puts a squirming, fluffy puppy in your arms and tells you that it’s YOURS to keep. That’s the dream! It was my biggest, best dream.
My parents had other dogs after Chelsea, but they were all after I had already gone to college or moved away to start my own family. True to the stuff of childhood dreams, my husband surprised us with a puppy. Again, we had no idea it was going to happen. He had found her on a rescue site months earlier and kept the secret through the whole adoption and fostering process. Athena came from Alabama. We thought my husband was at work, but he was actually headed to Vermont to meet the rescue transport. We were sick at home and then he came to the front door with THIS little face peeking out of his coat:
Before Athena came into my life, I didn’t know how much I needed a dog. I didn’t know I needed an exercise accountability partner, a co-pilot, a therapist, a playmate for the kids, and a friend. Here are five reasons we’ll always have dogs:
1 – It’s good for our health. Not only does Athena convince me to go to the dog park.. daily.. she’s also good for my mental and emotional health. When I’m going through tough times, and I definitely have gone through tough times since she came into our lives, she’s always happy to see me. She’s always good for a cuddle and a kiss. She helped me overcome my biggest struggles in 2014-2016, with Scarlet starting kindergarten, and Des starting daycare. It was also my most challenging time to approach the age my father had been when he had passed away, and I have Athena to thank for the regular exercise.
2 – They make us feel less alone. I don’t know what I’d do without my pets! I work alone all day in my office and the long New England winters can be hard. Knowing I have two warm bodies to spend time with every day means everything.
3 – Dogs put us in a better mood. They improve our senses of humor and invite us to truly “play” to release stress.
4 – They increase safety, or feelings of safety. Athena barks if a squirrel runs in the yard!
5 – Dogs make excellent co-pilots. I love taking Athena to Cape Cod or my parent’s house or just on errands!
Now, to that video I was talking about!! Milk-Bone is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with Canine Assistants – a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs to children and adults with physical disabilities and special needs. This is a milestone anniversary, so they have created a heartwarming video to showcase some of the dogs and pet parents they’ve helped over the years. Are you ready to have your world rocked? Dogs are never just. They always do more.
Amazing, right? Dogs don’t just sit next to us – they are there to remind us we’re not alone. Dogs don’t just lick our faces – they are there to calm us down and heal us. It’s more than just a walk together – it’s a journey. A life journey.