Investing in a Personal Trainer: How a Dane Purchase Improved My Life

Investing in a Personal Trainer: How a Dane Purchase Improved My Life

I have not always been a dog person. In fact, I was a cat person for most of my life. Dogs were an animal I only tolerated, so when I found myself working briefly as a veterinary assistant, I was sure I would fall in love with all the cats and endure the dogs. The opposite actually happened. I fell in love with a customer’s blue Great Dane, and all large breed dogs became my preference over cats.

Princely Devotion and Despair

So, when a friend asked me to take her mother’s German Shepard, Prince, five years ago, I was happy to officially become a dog person. Prince was an exuberant, slobbery dog who was fiercely devoted to me. In an attempt to check his exuberance at the door, I began taking Prince on long daily walks, and we eventually became jogging buddies. Prince kept me motivated on the dreariest days, and I must say, Prince improved my health and my life.

Not all good things can last forever, though, and Prince contracted a disease called Blastomycosis, a severe fungal disease that affected Prince’s lungs and organs to the point that the vet recommended putting him to sleep.

I cried for days after I put Prince down, and I mourned him for a full year. I didn’t exercise; I turned to chocolate; and I missed having my trusty dog at my side. Needless to say, I gained some (ok, a lot) of weight, and my doctor wanted to put me, a then 27-year old woman, on cholesterol-lowering medicine.

That was the last straw. I was not going to take medicine for something I could fix on my own with a little hard work. I needed to exercise, and I needed a motivational dog to help me. So, I went to the humane society to pick up a pal, but there were no dogs there that I wanted to adopt. All were too small for my preference.

Investing in a True Desire

Being a very frugal person, I was resistant to my true desire – to buy a blue Great Dane, an expensive and short-lived dog. However, the more I thought about it, I really wanted to invest my money in a dog I would love, who would become family, and who would motivate me to exercise every day. Like Jessica mentioned in her post, When "Saving" isn’t Saving – thanks for the Great Dane inspiration, Jessica! – sometimes buying high-quality items will save you money in the end.

I knew my Great Dane puppy would be an investment I would never regret, and it would be an investment in more than a new dog; the investment would improve my health, round out my family, and encourage me to love a dog again.

I bought a beautiful, blue baby girl, and Ziva has grown to be more than I expected. I have reduced my cholesterol and dropped weight. Ziva fills the void in our family from Prince’s passing, and I love Ziva more than I thought possible. She has become my daily walking companion, and when she is two years old, she will (hopefully) be cleared by the vet to become a jogging buddy.

She even accomplishes more than I purchased her for: she makes me laugh (you should see her “Crazy Dog” routine – she runs three strides, turns on a dime, runs in a huge circle, and ends by chasing her tail). Her price to earnings ratio for me is way above any stock’s returns, and my investment in my dog (and personal trainer) is priceless.

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Ravi Gupta's picture

Ravi Gupta wrote:

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 13:14 Comment #: 1

I'm glad to hear that things worked out for you. The greatest returning investments are made in yourself and family. :)

Currently I can't have a dog but I hope one day I'll be able to. They are so much fun to have around.

-Ravi Gupta

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 15:39 Comment #: 2

Ravi, investments in family do offer the greatest return! I hope you are able to make your own canine investment soon!