Keeping a human’s best friend happy

The rain pelted against my aunt’s roof as we played monopoly waiting for my parents to arrive.

“When are mommy and daddy going to come get us?” asked my sister. 

“Soon, you’re going to be very happy when they do,” replied my uncle.

“Shush, Eric!” my aunt scolded him.

I had an inkling something was going to happen when my parents arrived. Little did I know that that something was someone, and that someone was going to change our family forever.

Dad walked in first, grinning. Mom followed with a whimper coming from under her rain jacket.

“Girls, meet Greta!”

Out came a plump yellow lab puppy with a square head, massive paws, and floppy ears.

I fell to the floor crying. Finally, after years of begging, my dad caved in, and my parents surprised me with a dog.

Greta was certainly the pick of the litter.

Years have passed since the day I met our “boo boo,” but the only thing that has changed about her is her size.

Greta is a big girl with an even bigger personality. This October, we celebrate her twelfth birthday.

Considering she has had two major ACL surgeries, a surgery on her paw, and a throat surgery from swallowing a sock, it’s a blessing she made it this far.

Most labs don’t live past 10, but my baby is defying that statistic. 

I think the reason why she has lived this long despite her health issues is because she is loved and well cared for.

Giving a dog the attention and care it needs lengthens its lifespan.

According to, increased stress, such as fear, can harm dogs.

The website argues that although small amounts of fear can be healthy, extended and frequent periods of fear can be detrimental to a dog’s health.

Leaving your furry family member outside for too long can cause fear, especially in the dark.

If you want to get a dog, you need to be prepared to treat it as you would a child.

Would you leave your kid outside for hours and not let them in as they cried in the cold?

No. So, don’t do that to your dog.

Unfortunately, lots of folks leave their dogs outside unattended for hours on end.

Putting your pup in high-anxiety situations causes stress, which over time, can shorten their lifespan.

Before getting a dog, you need to make sure you are financially able to take care of it. Vet bills, food, personal care, and extra items such as toys and a comfy bed – canines are not cheap.

For your dog to be free of stress and healthy, you need to pull out your wallet. To feed a big dog like a lab, dog food usually costs roughly $60 a month. Some dogs with allergies or other health problems need special food tailored to them. These kinds of dog foods can cost upwards of $100 per month.

Underfeeding your dog can cause hunger which causes mental and physical stress, decreasing their lifespan.

According to Animal Wellness website,, “A dog’s gut biome, much like that of humans, signals everything from what type of bowel movement they’re going to produce or what their mood will be that day. An unhealthy gut biome can lead to depression and lethargy.”

Everyone wants their pup to be with them for as long as possible. However, what some don’t realize is that their lifespan is usually dependent on how well you care for them.

Like humans, emotional and mental health can impact a dog’s physical well-being.

So, be kind to your canines. Give them attention, feed them properly, take them to the vet, and above all, spoil them a little.