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Barbara Bishop and her rescue Maltese Zoey.
Courtesy photo
Barbara Bishop and her rescue Maltese Zoey.

News, Santa Monica, Pets, Hot Flash

Find A Best Friend At Santa Monica Animal Shelter

Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.
Mirror Archives
Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.

Posted Aug. 19, 2014, 9:16 am

Barbara Bishop / Hot Flash Columnist

It lowers your blood pressure. It helps you to stave off depression. You can also lose weight while having fun. Sound like a miracle drug? This drug happens to be a furry, four-legged friend.  

In fact, according to Web MD, for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits.

In addition to what I reported in the first paragraph, owning a pet can lessen anxiety, boost your immunity, and can help you meet people!

Dogs are great for making connections; they are natural conversation starters. Since I’ve had my dog, I now know all the neighbors. Only problem is, we only know the dogs’ names, not the owners’ names. “Hi Teddy!” I say to the white Terrier. “Hi Zoey!” the white Terrier’s owner says to my white Maltese. We watch Zoey and Teddy sniff each other butts, touch noses, and jump on each other for a few minutes. We start to leave, saying “Have a nice day!” “Bye Zoey!” “Bye Teddy!” It’s a start.

Walking a dog can also provide a fun way exercise. Before Zoey came into my life, I came home from work, grabbed some dinner, and sunk into the couch, never to be heard from again. The only thing anyone heard was the hypnotizing buzz of the TV.

Now, all of that has changed. I walk Zoey twice a day for a half hour each time. In the morning, I walk her and have my cup of coffee, and in the evening I walk her and have my glass of wine. I’ve really firmed up my legs by walking hills and my arms by lifting her up when she doesn’t want to walk anymore. That’s usually halfway into the walk.  But she’s so cute!

The best dogs ever are rescue dogs. I found my dog Zoey, from a Maltese rescue website.  She was a stray, got picked up by Animal Control Services (aka “The Pound”) and languished for three weeks in the shelter, dirty, underweight and sick. Now she’s doubled her weight, is really healthy, gets groomed by Bel Air Grooming once a week, has three beds (in addition to mine) and two toy boxes.

One of the best places to adopt a dog is at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter.

I recently visited there to find out how Santa Monica residents can provide a forever home to a beautiful, sweet canine, who somehow found its way to this caring, save, temporary place.  

The Santa Monica Animal Shelter is basically a no-kill shelter, and it’s clean and tidy.  Each dog gets its own cage, and in the center of the shelter, there’s a place for them to play and get exercise.  

The play area is also for a potential adopter to get acquainted with their new best friend.  If there’s a dog that you like, the officers will take the dog out of the cage, and bring it to the play area, where you can find out if that particular dog is for you. When I was there, I played with a really sweet pit bull and a tiny, furry poodle mix. I loved them both. The biggest surprise of the day was the four week-old puppies that were left outside the front door in a cardboard box that week. The officer let me hold one of them. OMG! So cute.  So innocent. And they are available in the next few weeks! If you want to adopt, you can fill out an adoption form and pay a small fee. If you go to its Facebook page more details can be found, or just stop by at 1640 9th Street Tuesday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed Sunday and Monday).  

Your blood pressure will drop and you’ll start to lose weight. You’ll be popular, and you’ll never be depressed or sick again.  And you’ll be giving a displaced little critter a save, happy home. I can’t think of more of a win-win. Okay, you’ll have to pick up a little poop, buy some extra groceries, and have a little less of the bed when she’s taken over your spot, but all so worth it! 

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email

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