A friend said, "Marty, work is so important to you, I didn't figure you'd want to take the time to care for a dog."

Yes, there are occasional times I feel it's not worth it, but mostly I feel that getting my doggie, Einstein, has been among my wisest decisions.

Einstein is a great source of nurturance and a stressbuster. When I'm at my desk, Einstein is often lying at my feet, which feels great, and when I need an extra dose of love, I pet him or roll around the floor with him. After that one-minute break, I'm refreshed and ready to go back to work.

Einstein ensures that I exercise every day--he has to go out. So we take two short walks and one vigorous three-mile hike every day.

My clients--well, most of my clients--love Einstein. He welcomes them with more warmth than the warmest receptionist. And I only need pay Einstein in love and kibble. (By the way, Orijen is probably the best dog food.) When the session starts, unless the client prefers he doesn't, Einstein settles down next to the client on the sofa or floor. He's a great co-counselor.

Yes, having a dog is a responsibility. It's like having a baby who never grows up. But for me, at least, it has been well worth it. Indeed, I consider Einstein my Magical Doggie.

If you're considering adopting a pet, let me make a pitch for getting him or her from a pound, humane society, ASPCA, or rescue organization:

  • The mixed-breed you'll probably get is more likely to be healthier than the often too-inbred purebreds. The term "hybrid vigor" is valid.
  • You won't be supporting a puppy mill, which too often treat dogs inhumanely.
  • The cost is dramatically lower. The average dog bought from a breeder costs $1,000. A pet from one of the aforementioned sources averages 90% less.
  • You're possibly saving a life. Someone had thrown Einstein into the overnight bin at a pound. In the morning, the attendant found him shaking and clutching a barbecued rib. Many doggies and kitties must be put to sleep within weeks of entering the shelter. I will take care of my Einstein, hopefully, for many years to come.

HERE is an online PetFinder that lists 300,000 adoptable pets from 13,000 adoption groups across the country.

Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia.

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