Tag Archives: cats

Dudes And Dogs: A Wonderful Combination

In the United States alone, there are more than 70 million pet dogs and more than 76 million pet cats. That’s a lot of fur, dudes, a lot of fur.

So, considering we pet owners have to spend thousands of dollars on vet fees, food, chew toys, litter and all the rest of the stuff that it takes to keep a happy pet, why do we do it?

Well, at least according to the folks at mercola.com, which bills itself as the world’s No. 1 natural health website, there might be more than one reason.

Because they provide unconditional love in return, providing a sense of friendship and comfort in a way that is unmatched, sometimes even by humans. And as if you needed another reason to give your pet a hug today, research is also increasingly showing that these furry creatures offer proven benefits to your health.

It’s that last one about which I want to talk today. I’ve long known that rehabilitation facilities, some hospitals, hospices and retirement homes have house pets because there are documented benefits to owning a pet. The major benefit being simply that they make us feel better.

According to a new statement released by the American Heart Association (AHA), owning a pet, particularly a dog, may reduce your risk of heart disease.2The conclusion came following a review of dozens of studies that showed pet owners were in better health than non-pet owners. Highlights of the research included:3

  • People with dogs engaged in more walking and more physical activity, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity
  • Pet ownership is probably associated with a reduction in heart disease risk factors and increased survival among patients
  • Owning a pet is linked with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of obesity
  • Pets can have a positive effect on your body’s reaction to stress, including a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present.

The interesting thing about this is that it was brought to my attention by my dad. He’s an orthopedic surgeon, one of the best in the world (and that’s not bragging), and he’s always looking for better ways to stay healthy. In his early 70s, he has the mobility of a much younger man.

My sister suggested this was Dad’s way of slyly asking for a dog. However, when that idea was put forth, the glacial silence emanating from Dad’s wife was overwhelming, so the idea was shot down pretty quickly. Which means, in this instance at least, owning a dog might possibly be even less healthy than going to buy one.

While the study didn’t come right out and state that owning a dog will reduce a dude’s risk of cardiac disease, it does seem to be a health plus. Of course, it could be the longer walks that the dog owner takes that are helping with the aerobic activity meter there.

Either way, it looks like owning a dog is a good, healthy idea.

Plus they love to slobber all over our faces and jump up and down when we walk into the room and basically make us feel like we’re the greatest person on the entire planet.

And that can’t be bad.


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Another Peek At The Future

by Richard

The future keeps breaking through into the present, usually in ways we never thought it would.

For instance, today I’m getting ready to take Sarcasmo on a trip to Idaho for a look at another bit of education. I’m coming back. He’s not.

Hyper Lad is away at Camp Cheerio.

The only one of the young dudes still home is Zippy the Monkey Boy, who just returned from a near-month-long trip to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia (makes me wish I was one of my own kids) and is getting ready to head off to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in just about a month.

So we’re down to one kid, two adults, two cats, a dog and a bird.

Yeah, the nest officially is getting a little bit emptier.

Especially considering Zippy the Monkey Boy is the type to sleep in until someone goes into his room and tips his bed over onto the floor. Mornings are going to be pretty quiet for the next little while.

I guess it’s something I’ll have to get used to.

When school starts up Aug. 27, it’s going to be quite real and quite quiet.

Hyper Lad is off to school by 8:30 am and that’s it. Nothing to do with kids until he gets home near 5 pm.

Still not sure how this is going to work. I mean, I haven’t had to cook for only three people (one child) for a long, long time. I have a feeling I’m going to be making a lot of accidental leftovers for the first couple of months.

Maybe I can buy that huge storage fridge I’ve had my eye on for a while. Get a place to put the stuff away . . . Well, realistically, never look at it again. Making leftovers? Yeah, I’m good at that. Serving leftovers? Not so much.

Of course, with Zippy the Monkey Boy leaving the house, our grocery bill will almost immediately come down a substantial amount since I’ll no longer have to buy his, and his alone, normal ration of 2.5 gallons of milk per week.

Ah well. That’s in the future, which is only waving hi this week. I’m sure it’ll be coming for a much longer visit next month.

Until then. . .

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Rabbit Rescue

by Richard

Okay, I don’t think I’d call me a hero or anything like that. Although I did save a life.

Maybe something like Good Samaritan. Good Samaritan, who’s hem of his dirty robe you are not fit to even consider thinking about wondering if you should touch.

Or maybe I’m getting grandiose again. I’ll tell the story and let you dudes make the call.

The other day I was working in the driveway of Casa de Dude, which ends in some short grass which runs into a pretty tree-ful and wild backyard. As I’m working, I hear a tinkling coming from behind, but I ignore it. I’m too big to get attacked by the cats living around here.

What I should have realized is that I’m not the only person living around here. The orange cat, Nari (who putatively belongs to Sarcasmo) walked around a corner holding something furry and still in his mouth. At first, I thought it was a chipmunk, but it was too large. Then I thought it was a squirrel, the tail already bitten off and I was ecstatic. I really don’t like squirrels.

As proud of himself as Nari was, there was no way he would let go any opportunity to show off. Which meant his next move was to drop the maybe-tailless squirrel and let me get a good eyeful.

Which was when I realized it was, in fact, a rabbit.

Just about that time, the rabbit realized that Nari had stopped hugging it with his teeth and took off. Unfortunately, it took off into the garage. Nari chased after. And I chased after Nari.

The cat caught that rabbit a couple of times, swatted it left and right, and then let the rabbit keep running. I think Nari was having more fun chasing the rabbit than having already caught it.

Eventually, the rabbit fetched up in an empty shelf of our wall unit, which used to be inside the house, but now serves junk-holding duties out in the garage. I managed to keep Nari out of the way for a bit and grabbed the furry bunny.

It was soooo sooooffffftttttt. It was a pretty bunny, George.

Carrying the very still bunny to the house door, I let Nari inside, quickly closed the door and then speed-walked toward the woods from which the bunny came. Once I was deep enough into the weeds, I stopped struggling to hold the hoppity fellow and let it loose. The brown bunny scampered off in a hurry, leaving me to wonder how it could have been captured by a belled cat if it was that fast.

So there it is. Another life saved. My second rabbit. Hero? Good Samaritan? Schlub?

You dudes make the call.

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