As I was getting ready to walk my dog Lucy, it dawned on me that I have never been healthier. I owe some of the credit for this to her. Lucy is part basset hound and German shepherd. She is one of the funniest looking dogs on the planet. She has front legs that are shorter than her back legs and she doesn’t walk; she hops. Everyone who sees her starts smiling and laughing almost immediately.

She urinates on my husband’s pillow when she gets angry with him (because he is the disciplinarian) , and one time she got so angry that she moved half his clothes out onto the deck through an open window. But, she is loving, always happy to see us, and she makes us laugh when we are sad. She puts her funny looking head in my lap whenever I am upset and I feel better. She also has a negative trait that has worked in my favor; she is incredibly demanding. I call her the entitlement princess, because she harasses me to take her on at least three walks a day. I have concluded that Lucy is good for my health.

Research confirms my conclusion. Studies have found that those who own a pet have lower blood pressure and less anxiety than non-pet owners. Dogs and cats improve feelings of loneliness and isolation. Pets decrease the chance that children will develop allergies and asthma, and they are a great way for people to get out and mingle. Alzheimer’s patients with pets are less likely to have anxious outbursts. Heart attack patients with pets live longer than those without pets.

If you are looking for a miracle treatment that will get you exercising, lower your blood pressure, calm your nerves and increase long-term survival you can find it at your local humane society. My miracle therapy is named Lucy. Time to go to the Humane Society and find yours!