Need a Break from Stress? Hug a Dog.

In God's great wisdom, He gave us dogs to let us know that there is still goodness in this world.

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Melissa Clinton gets a break from stress by hugging her dog, Bentley.

Today's guest blogger, Melissa Clinton, shares how the love of her dog, Bentley, helps her during stressful times. I hope this blog will remind you of the loving comfort that a pet can offer. Blessings, Peggy

Several weeks ago, I sat and watched the news. There was death and destruction in Nepal while the streets of Baltimore exploded in anger. The news today was no better. Accidents. Corruption. Violence. It was heartbreaking to watch. I turned off the television and called my basset hound, Bentley, over to me. 

I wanted a timeout from humans. 

I loved on him, and he patiently snuggled back. He knew exactly what I needed.  

It's heartbreaking to feel the pain humans inflict on one another. I often find myself shaking my head while shedding tears at the suffering throughout the world. It brings me to my knees to pray. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? Surely God did not intend for humans to be so cruel.

In His great wisdom, God gave us dogs to remind us there is still goodness in this world. And there is no greater comfort than my dog's unconditional love.

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But dogs serve us in other ways as well: They are called on for dangerous search and rescue missions. Military and police K9s serve on the front lines during times of war and civil unrest. Researchers have discovered that dogs can detect cancer or the early onset of a seizure. Dogs guide those in a sightless world and perform services for their humans who are unable to manage on their own. 

And dogs do these things without expecting payment or recognition, only the occasional treat and belly rub. They make the world a better place simply by being themselves.

Bentley has never done anything heroic by those standards. However, he has completely changed the direction of my life. 

The next time you are overwhelmed by the world and all of its craziness, try hugging a dog. It will certainly ease the hurt and stress that humans can inflict. I’m not quite sure what we did to deserve such amazing companions, but we are blessed to have them.


Melissa Clinton is a blogger at Barking from the Bayou and author of The Return Series, inspired by her basset hound, Bentley.

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