Jim Shinn
Jim Shinn

I have four dogs, all mutts! We rescued a few, and were given a few. We are dog rich!

I am not going to write about my dogs because I get bored with columnists who waste ink writing about their pets. But I will write that dogs and pets in general are good for the human race. They are good for our health, our mood and our protection. In some cultures, they are good to eat! Of course, taking good care of them is a responsibility, but people with pets are on the upside of the human experience.

Imperial, is one of my favorite Valley towns. My wife is from Imperial, and they are doing lots of positive things in education and the community. Recently, they did something cool for canines. They opened up Wooftown! It is a local park designed so dogs can frolic leash-less. Leashes are good ideas for dogs and some kids, but personally, I don’t use them, mainly because I haven’t trained my dogs in the law of the leash. Although I did train my kids.

Our country and community have lots of pets, and assigning a little of our free space for free pooch play is cool. I haven’t gone there yet, just I like never took a dog to Dog’s Beach in OB, but me and Bear Bear (our main mutt!) will go over there and see if Wooftown is as cool as it sounds.

I want to give some shout outs to pets in general. They are very good for our mental and physical health. I walk/jog at Bucklin Park in El Centro every morning (without my dogs), and there are always folks walking their dogs in obedience to the leash law. Having a pet is good to reduce depression, loneliness and the buildup of negative chemicals in our bodies.

I had a student who came from an abusive, rejecting family and his best friend was his dog. I asked what he would do if something happened to the dog. Without hesitation, he responded that he would commit suicide. I believed him, and we continued to work together, but I was glad the dog was on my side.

In society, we now have therapy dogs.  I like those programs where they use dogs to help people/children who have experienced trauma. It bugs me a little when some folks have to have their therapy pet with themdog in public and wear it like a badge of honor. It’s strange and I would probably warm up to it if I saw some good research about carrying a pooch in public. I do know that dogs in prisons reduce violence and animals in hospitals and senior residential facilities improve health indicators.

God created animals to bless us in many ways. For example, I love carne asada! It is good that Imperial is blessing pet owners and their families with Wooftown.

The last thing I want to say is that I think God created dogs to teach people about obedience. Don’t you love a dog that obeys or is trainable? The other thing is that dogs love their owners unconditionally. Dogs are better than people that way. You can be mean to your dog and he forgives you right away and is soon wagging his tail, wanting to play. If people could be more like dogs, we would have less war, violence and divorce.

By the way, did you ever notice that dog spelled backwards is God?