The ONIE’s Team Walking Soul Mates, and a Turtle Too!
Pets provide a variety of health benefits. Yup, these animals improve our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Benefits range from keeping us active to connecting with other people. For us at ONIE and our families, our dogs are walking and running soul mates. Meredith, Stephanie, Susie and I always have a buddy to go for a run or walk with us; they are always there for support. Having Beju motivates me to get outside when I just don’t quite feel like it; I know that he needs the exercise. Afterwards, I feel better. If I go in the morning, I feel focused and ready for my day. In the evening, it helps me wind down. Pets are not just walking soul mates for us at ONIE. Research has shown that children and adults who have dogs spend more time doing moderate to vigorous physical activity than those without dogs.
Yall, Meredith & Jessie love a 5K! Pets make it easier to connect with other people, and the neighborhood where we live. Our pets lead us into conversation with strangers, and foster feelings of mutual aid. During the tornado season last spring, a neighbor knocked on my door. He and his wife invited me and my pets to join them in their storm shelter. We did not “know” each other but were familiar because we passed each other on the street walking our dogs. We are good friends now. We also venture into places where we might not go because of our pets such as the neighborhood park, a dog park, or the lake.
We form a bond with our pets; pets of any kind, even turtles. Jade takes Porkchop, her pet turtle, on turtle walks. It is hard to even explain the attachment but we talk about our pets, we talk to our pets, and change our schedules to meet their needs. Spending time with pets has a calming effect. This bond is powerful. It reduces feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety, leading to lower blood pressure and risks of heart disease. While I don’t think about these health conditions on a regular basis, every day I enjoy the bond that I have with my pets. Spring is approaching, and there is no better time to adopt a pet. There are pets of all kinds and sizes that are ready to become a member of your family. Check out your local animal shelter for more information. Here are a few in the Oklahoma City area: Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Edmond, Moore, and Norman. My beloved, Beju ,was adopted Karla and the ONIE Project team.