Life With a Dog: You Meet People

Posted on April 24, 2014

As a study published in 2007 in Society

As I approached four years as a widow, the loneliness of a one-person household began to drag me down. Acquiring a four-legged companion, rather than a two-legged one, appealed to me.

While most dog owners I know encouraged my decision, several dogless friends thought I had lost my mind. How, with all my work, travels and cultural events, was I going to manage the care of a dog?

Yes, he's a lot of work, at least at this age. But like a small child, Max makes me laugh many times a day. That's not unusual, apparently: In a study of 95 people who kept "laughter logs," those who owned dogs laughed more often than cat owners and people who owned neither.

But perhaps the most interesting (and unpremeditated) benefit has been the scores of people I’ve met on the street, both with and without dogs, who stop to admire him and talk to me. Max has definitely increased my interpersonal contacts and enhanced my social life. People often thank me for letting them pet my dog. Max, in turn, showers them with affection.

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Source material from New York Times


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