Does owning a dog make you healthy as well as happy?

Do you want a dog? Would it do you good?

Most people who own a dog believe their pets make them happy and also help keep them healthy. Is there any scientific evidence for that opinion? Is it just wishful thinking? Can anyone be dogmatic?

Some recent research in Sweden seems to show that dog-owners do live on average longer than the rest of the population.

How could a dog improve your health?

Although science has not yet established the reason for this, many people have suggested that there are two benefits to dog-ownership.

  1. Firstly, it gives you a strong incentive to take regular exercise, whatever (almost) the weather. Exercise is known to be an important factor in reducing weight and fat. It also helps tone up at least some of your muscles.
  2. Secondly, people say that the relationship with your dog helps you mentally. Stress and depression are major mental problems these days. They contribute to a lot of physical illnesses too.
Are these statistics conclusive, or is it a case of the tail wagging the dog?

On the other hand, the Swedish scientists do point out that the link between owning a dog and being healthy might work in the opposite direction too. A healthy person is more likely to be able to look after an animal than a sick person. Another example of the need to treat all statistics with care, as I have written in one of my books.

Do I advise you to buy a dog?

I would not want anyone to take on the responsibility of owning any pet if he or she was not capable of looking after it. That could be due to their health problems or their mental state. It would not be fair to the animal. I would also not advise anyone to acquire a pet if they did not really want to. Again, it would be unfair to the animal to bring it into a home where it was unwelcome. There are too many cases of cruelty and neglect already.

However, I do suggest that you think about keeping a dog as one way to improve your health. Only as long as it is a sensible option for you. I believe it has done me good. I have lost weight and a couple of inches at the waist, in the couple of years that I have had my border collie

A border collie waiting to be taken for a walk
A border collie waiting to be taken for a walk


How you can help with building a church in & for the community

Why am I supporting a building project?

I know the church is more than a building, but try running almost any sort of business or charity without one. This is a particularly good project. It aims to benefit as many people as possible and to respond to the needs of the 21st Century.

St Paul’s Penketh, Warrington, need about #100,000 to complete a million-pound project. The details are in the item below from the Warrington Guardian.

What if you don’t go to church?

Never mind. The new building will benefit the whole community, providing facilities not available elsewhere.

What if you don’t live in Penketh?

Neither do I, but it’ll benefit people from a wide area.

Please give generously if you can. If you can’t give generously, just give! Here.

What if you’ve no money?

You can help even if you can’t afford to give. Yes you can! Vote for it on the Aviva website – they are inviting the public to choose which projects they are going to support with their charitable giving. What a great idea!

Building Project needs 100,000 POUNDS to open its doors

People in Penketh have been wondering what’s going on in the new building on the site of St Paul’s Church on Warrington Road, Penketh, that was demolished two years ago. The new building will be the St Paul’s Community Church Base. Nothing seems to have been happening since the completion of the work some months ago. Churchwarden, Margaret Bennett explains, “The main building work was completed in June, but there have been items that needed putting right before we could accept the handover and there is still a lot to be done inside.”

Church member, Kieran Layfield, who has been coordinating the project, gave the details. “We still need to put in heating, toilets and other fixtures. We also want to install modern audio-visual equipment to make it suitable for the 21st Century. Some things will be done by our own members, others by contractors.”

The main interior part of the building looks very empty
The main interior part of the building looks very empty

Another question is what have churchgoers been doing since the old church was knocked down. Team Vicar, Sarah Peppiatt, answers, “We have been meeting in the Oaks Centre, in Stocks Lane, but we are looking forward to getting the new building. It will be more flexible, with larger and smaller rooms, and better acoustics and other facilities. We hope people will come to a lot of the events we’ll put on, but we will also make rooms available for groups to use for their own activities.”

The Oaks Centre Manager, Karen Howard, agreed, adding, “We have managed to keep most of our usual activities going for the last couple of years as well as holding church services. When the new building is open we’ll be able to do more at the Oaks and the facilities at the new building will be more suitable for some community activities. It’ll be a win-win all round.”

The outside of the building is complete but the ground around it needs some work
The outside of the building is complete but the ground around it needs some work

The church treasurer, Denis Bamber, summed up the financial position. “This project will cost nearly a million pounds. We have raised over eight hundred thousand already, nearly all from our own members, but we still need over a hundred thousand pounds to finish it properly. Anyone with any money should contact me on 01925 725099 or go to our website” Kieran Layfield added, “If every person in Penketh gave just ten pounds, it would be ‘mission accomplished: job done’ in no time.”

Churchwarden Margaret Bennett completes a routine inspection.
Churchwarden Margaret Bennett completes a routine inspection.

For more information, go to