With life’s twists and turns sometimes we find ourselves in need of a friend. It’s a rare individual who can identify such a need. Usually when we find ourselves down in the dumps, our reaction is to want to crawl in a hole and pull the opening in after us. We get immobilized and often our first reaction is to isolate—which is exactly the wrong thing to do. Sometimes we even strike out at those who extend a kind hand. Well, you can’t reach the bottom of your hole until you quit digging. Busying yourself with finding new friends can be just the ticket for a ride to a new attitude.

There are lots of suggestions where to look for new friends, and how to find buddies, but I thought we might take a little time to talk about what kind of pals to make. I want to talk about some of my friends who have dogs and why they are such great people to know. I think the fact they have relationships with dogs was a great tip off they might make good acquaintances.

Five Reasons Dog Owners Can Make Great Friends

Dog owners are active. My friend Jean raises companion dogs. When morning comes, it doesn’t matter if she is tired or having a bad day or has the sniffles. All those excuses fall on deaf ears when those little upright ears and wagging tails are depending on her for their morning walk at the break of dawn. And so when I see Jean, she is up and in a great mood, smiling because she’s happy at having seen the best part of the day with delightfully happy companions that love her more than anything. When they see her, their brains fill with the same chemical our brains did at the sight of our first teenage love interest. Or, for my more cynical friends, her dogs’ brains fill with the same chemical as if they had just done a line of cocaine.dog and human

Dog owners are social. Studies reveal dog owners are far more extroverted on the whole than the rest of the population, so getting a positive reaction when you introduce yourself to them is almost assured.

To own a dog, you should be responsible. Dogs have to be taken care of. Using my friend Jean again, because her dogs are companion dogs, they need extra care and training. If other companion dog trainers are going to be unavailable, they count on Jean to take care of their dogs, and likewise. Putting aside one’s own needs for those of others is a really attractive trait, and is one more reason dog owners make great friends.

Most good dog owners are conscientious: I can’t say for sure if this is a trait that dogs bring about in their owners or whether people with dogs just happens to be dependable. But I do know this: My friends with dogs, most notably Jean, Marge, and Judy, worry about people, do kind things without any fanfare and go out of their way to not let people down. That’s a good quality to find in any friend.

Dog-Loving = Fun-Loving: Dogs exist pretty much in the here and now, not appearing to worry about where they’ve been or where they are going. Whatever smell is in the air is what is happening! When I go to play pickle ball, Marge’s dog Mala is waiting for a wedge of watermelon. (Just like puppy Calvin here.) Now that is fun loving! Most dog owners I know understand this and appreciate the difference between work and play, and enjoy spontaneous fun which makes them very entertaining friends.

Next post: Five more reasons man’s best friend’s best friend often makes for a good friend