How Pets Improve Our Lives

I was obsessed with Benji when I was a kid. I think I watched all the movies dozens of times. My older sister and I wanted a dog so badly when we were kids, but to no avail. Our parents both grew up on a farm, surrounded by animals, including lots of dogs, so wanted nothing to do with them as adults.

Max, my 9 year old Shichon (1/2 Shih Tzu & 1/2 Bichon Frise)
on his birthday with his new toy, Henry the Hedgehog

About 9 years ago, we settled down after moving around the country/world for 10+ years. So, it was time to fulfill my lifelong dream of getting a dog. Enter the furry little love of my life, Maxmillian Balthazar (Max for short).

Max as a pup in 2013 after his first bath (he still hates them!🤣)

Max has become so entrenched in our family, that I can’t imagine life without him. My youngest goes to college about 90 minutes from us, and comes home most weekends, more to see Max then us. I’m a bit biased, but he is so cute and smart. Plus, he is absolutely the best listener in the house. (I realize everyone feels the same way about their pet. 😊)

So, what inspired me to write my first personal journal article about my dog and why pets improve our lives? I got a text from my sister this morning that one of her 2 dogs suddenly and unexpectedly died overnight. My heart leapt into my throat as I couldn’t possibly imagine waking up to that nightmare!

So, how do dogs, or pets in general improve our lives? Here are a few ways from the article “18 Ways Science Confirms What Our Hearts Already Know” from

  1. Pets give us structure. I think this is important for empty nesters. So many empty nest mothers I know get a dog or other pet when the kids move out. I know having Max helped me tremendously. Having another living soul, other than my better half, gave me something to fill the void and emptiness.
  2. Pets give us emotional support. This was especially evident for me during the covid lockdowns. Max was so happy and ready to play, or just listen. He made life so much better during that difficult time.
  3. Pets get us moving. I walk Max at least a mile every morning. Even though I love hiking, there’s no way I’d walk every day if I didn’t have Max.
  4. Pet parents live longer. According to the article, pet parents have reduced rates of illness, disability, prescription drugs, and cardiovascular disease.
  5. Pets ease chronic pain. They activate endorphins, which are natural pain killers in our body. (Cool huh!)
Max and I on the trail at Red Rock Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO

I can vouch for each one of the benefits above! Since Max came along, my life has only improved. I was blessed before Max, but now I’m doubly blessed. How about you? Do you have a pet? I’d love to hear about your pets and how they improve your life.

I’d like to dedicate this post to the memory of Charlie, my sister’s dog. May he rest in peace. I pray that God brings his family peace as they go through this difficult time.

Have a beautiful day my friends. Namaste. 🙏

Have a beautiful day my friends. Namaste!

One response to “How Pets Improve Our Lives”

  1. I’m pretty sure I’m going to live longer thanks to my doggo’s walks. Without her, I wouldn’t even be making those 5,000 steps a day. And it’s a great thing to give, unconditional love. Anyway, thanks for this post!

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