THE STRAIGHT UP
sold on dogs who are bigger than me. Dogs who are smaller than me give me paws, too. In Doodleville, there were constantly litters of new puppies. Puppies are a general nuisance, and by the time I could finally go home with my mom and dad, there were 12 small pups causing chaos. I suspect all young dogs must be just as chaotic, and on principle, I prefer things to be mellow. Mom says I’m hobbit-like, by which I believe she means I do not like adventures of any sort … unless it looks really fun. A few months ago, we drove up to Chicago — car rides are awesome — we spotted large sand dunes on the beach. I was a bit suspicious of them at first, but I soon discovered how fun it is to run up one side and down the other. We played on them for a long time. My mom and dad both are so worried about taking good care of me. My mom was devastated when the vet told her I had some plaque buildup on my back molars. She has since become very strict about brushing my teeth. They drove themselves a bit crazy when I first arrived, but I convinced them to mellow out. There are so many interesting things in the world to explore! My motto is, “Something might happen, so I have to check it out.” We wouldn’t be able to investigate or learn anything with worry holding us back. Mom and Dad should really listen to me more. I am making them healthier, after all! Years ago, the American Heart Association said pet ownership, “particularly dog ownership,” was “probably” linked to a
reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers from Sweden looked into this theory and examined the national records of 3.4 million Swedish citizens over 12 years. They found that registered dog owners had a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death!
A DOG’S TAIL From the Office of Buster
Good day mate!
I’m Buster, Dr. Pitner’s Australian labradoodle! I know my mom has spent the last few months sharing stories about me, and I just wanted to say how happy I am to be here now. Since I moved from Doodleville, where I was born, to live with my new parents here in Columbia, I have met so many new humans. People are great! I’ve never met a human I didn’t like. That said, I’m a bit more critical of other dogs. They seem nice, but I’m not
MOM SAYS I’M HOBBIT-LIKE, BY WHICH I BELIEVE SHE MEANS I DO NOT LIKE ADVENTURES OF ANY SORT … UNLESS IT LOOKS REALLY FUN.
This is likely because of how much exercise dog owners get. A study published in the journal BMC Public Health found dog owners tend to walk 22 minutes more a day than non-dog owners. Those extra minutes really make a difference. The brisk pace most humans and dogs enjoy on walks has been shown to be just as effective as running at lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s nice to know I’m making my parents healthier. Although, isn’t getting to take me on walks its own reward? They get up and out of the house early, and we meet so many new people who are out with their own dogs. It’s like being part of the exclusive dog-walker club. People are more likely to say hi to my parents when I’m around, which is great, because I love saying hi to people! –Buster
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225www.drpitner.com
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