I'm pretty sure the dog is good for my health, physical and mental both.
Now. I would like to state for the record that the reason
I got the dog was not to make me stick to a damn schedule and get out of the house for some exercise every day. That was part of the motivation--as was home security, and a long-held desire for a dog, and wanting some more company at home while the spouse is away for months--but it wasn't the primary driving goal that sent me to the shelter that many times until I brought home my puppy.
That said, my goodness has it been useful.
See, I am a morning person, but I tend towards sloth if not forced by some outside need (or prodding) to act otherwise. I forget to eat. I huddle in misery and low blood sugar, not wanting to leave the house. I sleep in too late and stay up too late, even though it makes me less happy. It's a bad habit! And I need to enforce some sort of schedule to work around this. (Classes are good for that, and as for reasons I had for taking up an academic goal... see above about reasons for dogs. It wasn't the only reason, anyway.)
Enter Pixel. She is a good dog, but she is a dog, and as such she loves her routine. I will get pointed shuffling and collar-jingling from the crate in the morning if I'm sleeping in too late and she wants to be let out and fed. At 5:30pm, she starts reminding me that she gets fed at 6pm (and, hey, maybe I should get myself some dinner too, if I'm in the kitchen anyway). If I haven't walked her by nine in the morning, she sits hopefully beside my chair and waits. When I'm about to stay up too damn late watching Netflix videos--wait, no, I'm going to have to walk the dog before bed, I'd better do that before
I'm absolutely exhausted.
She is a utility dog! She keeps me from falling back into unscheduled depression. And she is a sweetheart. I wish the cats would figure out that last part.
(I really should get a puppy icon.)This entry was originally posted at http://fadeaccompli.dreamwidth.org/72214.html. Comment wherever you like.