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Long-Term Impacts of Giving Up A Dog?
Research shows it may lead children to approach relationships as if they were less valuable.

Don't you love stories that catalog the health advantages (based on research, of course) of living with dogs? The list includes lowered blood pressure, better recovery from heart attack, less stress, less depression, lowered cholesterol and on and on. Kids with dogs develop greater empathy and are apparently more popular with peers! But a recent story in The Edmonton Journal pointed out something else about having dogs in a family with children.

“Children who have grown up in families that gave up their pets tend to approach relationships as if they were less permanent and less valuable.” I haven’t seen the research, but this is something I’ve wondered about, especially because my dog, Lulu, was given up at three-years-old by a family with a young son. I’ve often wondered how he felt about the decision and if it might have a lasting impact.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Gardenmentor | January 5 2009 |

This is REALLY interesting. I've had loads of pets throughout my life. I grew up in both rural and urban settings, and that meant a lot of pets. Some of my strongest memories are of those I had to give up or leave behind -- the dog I "found" and kept until my parents divorced and forced me to leave Digger at the SPCA is the ones that still stabs my heart. But, don't see relationships, with animals or with humans, as disposable or devalued because of it. In many ways, I think I value these relationships all the more. Then again, I saw many animals come and go. It wasn't like there was only one pet who left our household during my childhood.

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