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The Unexpected Benefits Of Having A Pet

By Statepoint



Owning a pet is about more than just having a furry friend around. Pets actually can benefit your health, both physically and mentally. There have been many studies suggesting that pets can help their owners live longer, reducing their daily stress and helping to lower blood pressure. And owning dogs, in particular, can be good for human health — especially for seniors. Research indicates that walking a dog affords many older Americans much-needed exercise. “We’ve all heard about how owning a dog can be good for our physical health. But there are many unexpected benefits, as well. Dogs can provide some great life lessons that help us to become better people and better enjoy our daily lives” says Doug Koktavy, author of the new book “The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers.” {{more}}Koktavy never even wanted a dog until he and his wife adopted two sibling black Labrador retriever dogs, Beezer and Boomer. Beezer developed kidney disease five years ago and Boomer was stricken with bone cancer just a year after Beezer’s passing. Feelings of guilt and fear ruled Koktavy regarding medical treatment, life extension, pain reduction and the anticipated loss of his best friends. But Koktavy learned some important life lessons from his dogs during this time, like how to be less of a control freak, how to relax, and how to appreciate life and handle grief when a loved one dies. “In my case, the dogs’ illnesses exposed how badly out of balance I had been during this time. Always quick to forgive others, I was mercilessly tough on myself. This created constant self-doubt and guilt,” he says. “The dogs taught me that the love I showered upon them was the same love I withheld from myself. They deserved that love, but so did I. I’m very grateful for those lessons.” To learn more about the lessons Koktavy says you can glean from your pets, visit or read his new book, The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer. And while ownership affords the most joy, there are plenty of pets out there simply looking for a good foster home. If you’re interested in adopting a pet, check

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