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Friday, February 4, 2011

Our border collie is our personal trainer: Dogs' contribution to health

Groundhog Day came and went, but now we're back in the dog days of winter. Two dog lovers' stories:

Barbara Abrams' story:

We are in our 70s and have no doubt that our dog significantly contributes to our health. Gracie, a three-year old border collie, gets two long walks (two miles on average) every day, no matter what the weather. And the weather here in Rochester, New York can be brutal, with black ice on the sidewalks. But no matter how strong the temptation to stay in, Gracie demands her walks, appealing to us with her soulful, puzzled eyes when we are behind schedule. She is our personal trainer.

Will Mesa's story:

Not long ago my dog brought me my bottle of aspirin in her mouth while I was having a terrible headache, proving that pets indeed help alleviate pain in owners.

Advice: Keep using your personal trainer, of course, while leashed and curbed properly at all times.

Read another story about what dogs teach us about healthcare.

Thanks to the editor of the New York Times Letters to the Editor, for these stories published on January 10.

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