Why a (BFF) Beehive Fur Friend may be good for your soul and good for your health too!

I have personally always known that life was better with a dog but I’m grateful that the professionals here in America are figuring that out too! In Europe, horses have been used for therapy since the 1860’s.

My current dog, Mika is my “unofficial” emotional support animal, especially when my husband travels. I suffer from depression and anxiety and mostly do ok but on those days when getting out of bed seems impossible, my very patient girl will lay next to me while I pet her and offers a pure unconditional love. She accepts me for exactly who I am and doesn’t judge my choice to stay in bed for awhile. She will stay with me as long as I need her.

Here are some professional points of view found on healthguide.org

Pets come with some powerful mental health benefits. Here’s how caring for a dog or cat can help you cope with depression, anxiety, and stress.

The health benefits of pets

Most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals. However, many of us remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Pets have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and our behavior and emotions. Dogs, for example, are able to understand many of the words we use, but they’re even better at interpreting our tone of voice, body language, and gestures. And like any good human friend, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand what you’re thinking and feeling (and to work out when the next walk or treat might be coming, of course).

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal can help children grow up more secure and active. Pets also provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a pet can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.

Studies have found that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
  • While people with pets often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that pets fulfill the basic human need for touch. Even hardened criminals in prison show long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression.

Mika comes from a line of Golden Retrievers that have retired from the show ring to become full time service dogs. Several of her puppies are being used as Emotional Support Animals in their current homes and are doing a wonderful job. Get on the waitlist today for your very own BFF!

The Purpose Of Spokes on a Wagon Wheel and…life!

I vividly remember a lesson given in Sunday School on the importance of the spokes on a wagon wheel, how each one was as important as the next because the purpose of the spokes is to distribute the pressure evenly so that the wheel doesn’t get a flat spot and become a horrible ride for those in the wagon. For this particular lesson, each spoke represented the things that matter most in our lives and how we need to evenly distribute our time and efforts to those different things so that we don’t “get flat spots”. My spokes are loving, nurturing and supporting a wonderful husband, 9 children, 6 and 1/3 grandchildren, callings at church, service within our community, working for my son in law, raising a litter of Goldendoodle fur friends and being the best version of myself that I can be…each of those things are important to me and my well being. In the last month, some of my spokes have been getting weak and my “wheels” are off balance. I tease my family that my puppies get more attention, better meals and more money spent on them than my teenage daughters do right now…truth is, that is the truth! It’s kind of a joke around here but not one I’m happy with. I never want my family to feel second to anything in my life. This is my first time raising these beautiful babies and there are 11 of them so the task is a bit difficult. They are precious and we shed tears when the first one was born because even fur babies are little miracles in my eyes. I had an inkling but not a REAL idea of just how much of ME these littles would require. I’m not complaining because I do love them, but to say that my spokes are a little out of wack is an understatement. I am raising them with a protocol called Puppy Culture, it is a way of using socialization and positive reinforcement right from the start with these tiny little 3 week old puppies. I love the program but at 4 weeks old today, my day goes something like this from about 7 am to midnight…clean dishes from mommas night feedings and teenagers midnight snacks, feed all 3 adult dogs, grab a hard boiled egg on the run, check messages, feed puppies, clean out pen while they eat, wipe each puppy clean, put puppies back in clean pen, start a load of laundry, read some puppy culture information to make sure we are doing the right things today, introduce new toys, new environments, clean up food area, sweep floors, steam floors, put pads down for next feeding, and start the process over again for lunch, then dinner, spend a few minutes running errands and such, clean pen, finish some laundry, wash rugs and hang outside to dry, have a sleep over with a grandson, put puppies to bed and make sure mama is well, watered, fed again, and play fetch with 3 adult dogs in between there somewhere and oh, yes, the husband, the kids, the grandkids, the church callings, the service, and ME…we are just hanging out on the fringes wondering if mom will ever surface again…

Balance, the hardest part of life for me living with ADHD, I tend to hyper focus and the rest just doesn’t exist. Right now the puppies are the hyper focus and the husband and kids…they don’t really seem to exist. It’s been on my mind a lot lately as I have so many people that truly NEED me right now and I feel like I’m failing them miserably. I also believe in the Bible verse in Ecclesiastes…

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

So for now, the season is raising Beehive Fur Friends first litter and hey, if you’re looking for or know someone who may be searching for an amazing Goldendoodle, I still have 5 spots on the reservation list available. And my family and friends will appreciate you more than you can imagine! And I might get some rest~