THE BLOG
31/07/2018 14:39 BST | Updated 31/07/2018 14:39 BST

How A Dog Changed My Life For The Better

Give them a home and a heart and they will wholeheartedly give you theirs back in return

Emily Oakden
Me and my dog, Murphy

Making the decision to get a dog is a tough one, whether it be your own choice, or the result of a nagging child or partner. There are lots of serious things you’ll need to consider like insurance, your time, and where will they go when you’re on holiday. The list goes on.

Obviously, these are all important things to think about, and you should never rush into getting a dog before considering all these things. But what people never seem to tell you are the amazing reasons to get a dog and how they will inevitably change you and your life for the better.

I’m not trying to dress this in flowers because let me make this abundantly clear, having a puppy or dog is hard work. They require a lot of effort, time and affection, but it’s a two-way street. Give them a home and a heart and they will wholeheartedly give you theirs back in return.

When you get a dog you become responsible for something, someone. They might not be a human, but you’ll soon get a bond that is as strong as one you’d have for any other member of your family, meaning you’ll suddenly become a lot more responsible, selfless, patient and committed. Not just because you have to, but because you want to. Yep, that furry sock-stealing monster will quickly become the reason you are rushing home from work at 5pm.

You’ll also be forced to go walking and get outside, which no one can dress up as a bad thing. Alongside that, your dog will have no qualms in playing with a stranger’s dog. You’d be surprised how many friends you can make because your dog has sniffed their dog’s bum. Yes, it’s a commitment having to walk a dog once, twice or three times a day, but you’ll quickly forget you’re walking around in the rain picking up poo, because you love your dog, and you’d walk to the end of the earth for them if they needed you to.

Aside from this, you’ll also have someone to come home to, someone to wake up to, and someone to tell your darkest secrets to. They’ll love you no matter what you do. Dogs are particularly good at sensing human emotion (don’t ask me how, just another reason why they are amazing) and that means they’ll always be there when you need them, whether that’s to lick your tears of sadness, or dance round the kitchen with you in joy.

I got my own dog after begging my partner for several months (keep going, it pays off eventually) because as someone who has grown up with a dog, a house is not a home without one. And when you’ve had one, you’ll feel the same for the rest of your life.