While the health benefits of owning a pet sounds good in theory, my pet is actually harmful to my health.
I own a very defiant 4-pound Chihuahua, called Governor.
For the last six months, I have been trying to potty train Gov, a skill he has yet to master. Before deciding to buy a dog, I did some research on-line and found that Chihuahua's can be litter box trained.
One of my friends suggested training him to use pee-pads rather than a litter box, which is what she did with her two dogs. This works a little better than the litter box, but still isn't a success.
Every once in a while he does what I like to call the "fake-out." This is when he will use the pee-pad for a couple days, pretending to be potty trained, but then immediately revert back to his old ways of peeing wherever he is standing when he gets the urge, or as he is walking, which is my personal favorite.
This whole cycle of getting my hopes up just to shatter them, does not work towards lowering my blood pressure.
Another suggested benefit of owning a pet is that it increases socialization opportunities, i.e. on walks or at the park. Calling this a benefit is assuming the socialization opportunities are pleasant, which I'm sure they are...for most people.
I find myself constantly having to defend myself and Gov while we are on walks. People, and by "people" I mean "men," have trouble understanding why I would want a dog that can't hunt or can't rip the jugular out of an intruder. I think my favorite question was, "If you wanted a dog that small, why didn't you just get a ferret?" Note: Ferrets are not dogs. Stupid question.
I also have to keep telling people that, no, I do not think I am Paris Hilton. Apparently, she is the only person who is allowed to be blonde and have a small dog. I love the guys that think they are the first person to come up with the comparison and call me Paris. I am not amused.