A Healthy Dose of Cuteness: Meet HAP’s Furry Friends!
Those of us who have pets know they enrich our lives in many ways. From providing company to teaching responsibilities, pets help us live a healthy lifestyle. I got my first dog when I was 19 – an Irish Setter named Murphy. I knew that having a dog meant that I would have to walk, feed, brush, train and clean up after it. A pleasant surprise I didn’t expect was for him to add a healthy routine to my life. It suddenly didn’t matter how tired I was, what the weather was like outside or what plans I had in store, he needed me to take care of him. He and I would walk for miles at a time when the weather was nice and his upbeat and silly personality made me laugh and relax when I was feeling sad or stressed out. His memory and our routine live on in my other pets, who continue to keep me active and help relieve stress.
Here’s how our team’s pets help us stay healthy:
I’ve recently adopted two retired racing Greyhounds, Winston and Fonzie. Every day, they greet me at the door with wagging tails when I get home. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come home stressed out and seeing their happy faces at the door instantly puts a smile on my face. Simply petting them or having them near for company can relax me. There’s no skipping out on our daily walks, either. Going for walks with my hounds is not only needed and beneficial for them, but for me as well. I’ve found that walking Winston and Fonzie not only gets me off the couch and moving, but boosts my energy, mood and socialization with the people in my neighborhood. They are perfect personal trainers and therapists in furry packages.
I hit my step goal alongside my favorite running partner, my black lab, Artemis. And when it’s time to slow down at the end of the day, my pug, Gracie, snuggles up on the couch to help me relax.
My dogs Dixie and Daisy keep me healthy by always wanting to play outside and by always being contagiously content.
Our cat, Josie, can tell when my wife or I are stressed. She always finds us wherever we are in the house for a good cuddle session, and after a few pets we always feel better. She’s also great with our daughter, Emma, and is becoming her little protector. Whenever Emma cries or needs something, she’ll either sit by her side or come get us. Sometimes we think she might be a dog.
My cats, Blitz and Storm are full of sass, love and fluff. While Blitz is a great snuggler for those stressful days, Storm's energetic personality keeps me active and entertained. Their opposite personalities keep me healthier mentally and physically!
There is nothing more fun than a kitten! When we adopted Oliver a couple of months ago, our hearts went out to this terrified, traumatized and abandoned little guy. But since we brought him home, he has blossomed into a beloved member of our household. Zinging back and forth between crazy and cuddly, racing madly across the house or head butting us for food or attention, he has brought out the best in us and provided entertainment, comfort and an enthusiastic receptacle for cheese (and anything else we care to "accidentally" drop on the floor).
For more ways our pets keep us healthy, check out our video below: