Dogs Make Us Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed

Dog Ownership and Health

Dog Day 2012

In a former life, I traveled up and down the east coast as a quality and compliance auditor for a health care and insurance organization. No one enjoys being audited, so more often than not, my visits were not received with the warmest welcome. After a week on the road, I always looked forward to getting home to my family and sitting on the floor to play with my three dogs: Molly, Cole and Lucy. This is how I decompress from stress.

Dog ownership is a lifetime commitment to the health and well-being of your canine companion. Over the years, I have learned that owning a dog can sometimes can be challenging, but more than anything, it’s rewarding. Aside from their cuteness and forgiving nature, dogs can positively affect the health of the owner. According to a WebMDarticle, a person’s decision to have a pet can have profound life-enhancing effects. Dogs are being used in therapy to help wounded soldiers who are returning from Iraq and battling severe stress, survivors of disasters and even college students, according to a CaesarsWayarticle. Both articles include information that states that spending time with dogs either as an owner or during a visit can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and be instrumental in helping patients overcome trauma, grief, loss, depression, abuse and anxiety. Last, but definitely not least, dog ownership can help increase the level of physical activity that an owner does through daily walks and outside play.


Columbia Association’s Dog Day Afternoon

The Columbia Association (CA) is hosting Dog Day Afternoon, which will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 11am-2pm at Hopewell Park (9200 Rustling Leaf in Columbia). This is event is free and promises a good time for dogs, owners and the general community. Attendees will enjoy contests, music, raffles and demonstrations while meeting and getting to know local businesses and organizations that are focused on the health, happiness and wellness of your dog. There will be off-leash play and treats galore leading to lots of fun for dogs and their human companions. For more information on this event, please visit dog-day-afternoon-2012.eventbrite.comor contact Kelly Cooper at or 410-715-3104.

Wanna see what Dog Day Afternoon is all about? Check out this cool video about this year’s doggy event.

This is the first in a series of guest posts by our Well & Wise friends at the Columbia Association! Anita Baxter is a group fitness instructor who teaches belly dancing for the Columbia Association fitness facilities. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in social and community service.



  1. Owning a dog can definitely be challenging. When I first got our dog, she was 3 months old and howled every hour through the night to go outside. She broke her leg once at 2am the night before a wedding – but none of that stuff matters. Getting our dog is one of the best decisions I have made – so much so that I want another one! I’m thinking my next dog will be a terrier mix. I’m reading a book right now called “The Nose Knows” by Holly Lewitas ( and the main character is a terrier named Spunky. It’s making me want one so badly!

    • Marie – Hi – I saw your post and as the proud human of Spunky, I just want to make sure you prepare BEFORE getting a terrier mix. Spunky and I work so well together because I did A LOT of homework about how to be a good Alpha human for a terrier. As you know from the book, we first raised Moxie -a golden retriever. When we rescued Spunky I made the mistake of trying to use the same techniques. WRONG. In time I learned new ways, but it is so much better if you do the homework ahead of time. Terriers can be very smart and very clever. But they can also be very energetic, hyper, and yappy if not trained. What kind of dog do you have now? I’d love to hear about her. I am so glad you are enjoying “The Nose Knows” – Spunky is an amazing dog and a constant inspiration. I hope she makes you smile.


  1. Well & Wise Howard County Classes and Events - Well and Wise | Well and Wise - [...] 21, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dog Day Afternoon.  Hosted by the Columbia Association at Hopewell Park, 9200 Rustling …

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