Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, says that dogs "are an antidote to loneliness and offer unswerving loyalty." Being a veteran dog-lover, allow me to educate you on some other benefits to canine companionship:
- For those without access to small children or grandchildren, dogs allow you to practice babytalk such as, "Ooh, I gotcher ball! Yes I do! Who loves the baby? Huh? Who loves the little shnookums?"
- Cardio-vascular health is improved by running upstairs to let the dog out before it urps on your carpet.
- Speaking of urping dogs, there's just nothing that quite matches waking up to the distinctive urlp-urlp of Man's Best Friend trying to empty its stomach.
- With a hungry enough dog, you rarely need to empty the garbage can.
- Some dogs have the job of cleaning toilets licked.
- I never worry about getting crumbs on the kitchen floor. Have you met my dog, Dustbuster?
- Muscle tone is greatly enhanced every spring by doing the Backyard Doodie Deep Knee Bends.
- With our youngest now in college, we thought we would be suffering from a lack of stress, but our dog has recently learned how to get out of our backyard and test the brake systems of passing motorists. Yep...the ol' ticker still works!
37. Volunteer for your local fire department.
I've been helping out by setting abandoned houses on fire. It's a great arrangement. The fire fighters get the practice they need in order to stay sharp, the property owners collect insurance money, and I've now earned my third-degree ninja badge by consistently getting away with it.
38. Recycle your Christmas tree.
If U.S. News & World Report's list of ways to improve my life in 2008 includes one more Get Green idea, I am going to urlp-urlp in Al Gore's biodegradable house slippers. But if you do decide to follow this particular bit of advice and run your Christmas tree through a chipper so it can help to build landmass in southern wetlands, make sure it's not an artificial tree. Trust me, it's not a fun experience.