When I decided to get a dog, my decision process for the breed was based more on practicality than appearance. I needed a smaller dog to fit comfortably and happily in my apartment, but I also lived in Colorado at the time so I needed a dog who could keep up on hikes. I found both of those qualities in a breed called Alaskan Klee Kais. They are basically small (15-20-pound) dogs that look exactly like huskies and lead an extremely active life. In other words, it was the perfect dog for me. Two months later I had an adorable bundle of gray and white fur in my arms named Percy, and everyday since has been a blessing.
I’ve been around dogs most of my life, so I knew that they make people happy. However, I never saw the full extent of it until I actually had my own dog. According to Therapy Dog International, studies have shown that a person holding, petting and even seeing a dog will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.1 Airlines now even allow dogs (with proper paperwork) to accompany their human on the plane if the person has anxiety or panics while flying.2 This kind of dog is considered an “emotional support” dog.
New research from Animal Smart found that simply seeing or being around a dog can decrease stress and increase happiness in humans.3 Think about it: how many times have you smiled when passing a dog on the street? Probably a lot! There is something about a dog that makes people light up.
And seeing first-hand how Percy can make other people happy lights up my life in ways I never knew was possible. Children’s shrieks of joy as they rub his soft fur, strangers’ in-depth questioning about his breed, the smiles and stares he draws while on our walks…it’s all extremely uplifting! When I see how happy he makes other people, it makes me happy in return. Life is a beautiful cycle of happiness…and the best part is, you can find it anywhere! You just have to be open to receiving it :)