The wellbeing benefits of living with a dog are well-documented, from their stress reducing effects to their positive effect on our immune system. But sometimes it takes an incredible case study to remind us of just how life-changing and rewarding caring for a dog can be.
Patrick Stewart has done just that by sharing his story of fostering a two-year-old Pit Bull named Ginger.
The actor took on Ginger through US charity Wags and Walks and he spoke to People about how, after just a week of caring for her, she’s changed his life for the better.
“I find that my relationship to the world and to the news every day in the papers and on the television has been changed by Ginger, because she has brought such a quality of patience and tolerance and fun into our lives, that it has, in a very short space of time, shifted my sense of where our world might be going,” he told the magazine.
“I literally find myself more optimistic than I was, and there is only Ginger to account for this. It is the impact of sharing my life for only seven or eight days with Ginger.”
He also shared the moment he fell in love with her: “One morning they arrived with Ginger and almost immediately something happened.
“First her warmth and friendliness and curiosity and good manners impressed us right away, but what we were not prepared for is what very quickly followed and that was that we fell in love.”
Sadly, Stewart and wife Sunny Ozell are unable to adopt Ginger full-time due to legislation which prevents them from bringing her home to the UK. However, they are working to find her the perfect foster home, and with Stewart’s amazing story she should have no shortage of offers.
Stewart is also involved in a campaign to end dog fighting called #GetTough, in association with ASPCA. The charity is working to raise awareness of how cruel the practice is and to change the stereotype of Pit Bulls.
Here’s just some of the photos of dogs and their families who have participated so far...
Image: Courtesy Patrick Stewart.