Who rescues whom?

By ANNE BOXHALL

So often with people and dogs, it’s a case of who rescues whom.

Psychologist Chris Blazina has been studying the unique bond between men and dogs over several decades and believes dogs can help males develop into happier, healthier people.

Dogs can break down self-imposed barriers of detachment and seclusion, helping men in particular to become less cut off from other relationships in their lives.

At 51 years of age, Eric O’Grey was obese and had trouble fitting into a plane seat.

Stewards were hard pressed to find a seat belt extension long enough to fit around him.

He had Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weighed 145 kilos. He was advised to get a dog and start walking.

O’Grey adopted an obese middle-aged dog also doing poorly in the health stakes. They went on to form an inseparable bond which transformed both their lives.

As running buddies, they shed 62 kilos and 10 kilos respectively and got off all meds.

Apart from the obvious physical benefits, O’Grey confirmed that his dog Peety made him a different person, changing his life for the better socially and in every other way.

Putting it down to his dog’s unconditional love and absolute loyalty, O’Grey says he was in turn motivated to be a better person for his dog.

What a difference a dog can make in helping to process stress, improve physical health and develop caring relationships.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Boxhall is the executive officer of Saving Animals From Euthanasia Inc. SAFE Inc. is the West Australian arm of Animal Welfare League Australia. www.safe.org.au. Founded in 2003 in the Pilbara, SAFE has grown to include regional branches in Albany, Avon Valley, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Esperance, Hedland, Goldfields, Karratha, Metro and Newman. SAFE saves healthy companion animals from unnecessary euthanasia through fostering, desexing and placing them in suitable homes and averages over 300 companion animals in foster care each month. SAFE has rehomed over 23,500 animals since the organisation’s inception.


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