Constant companions

Pets help people stay healthy — physically and emotionally

Dogs and their owners enjoy the open spaces of the Donald and Angeline Stevenson Off Leash Area, at 32nd and Addy streets in Washougal. The park includes a separate area for smaller dogs. Buy this photo

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Justin Anderson, of Washougal, spends time on a Saturday afternoon with his 4-month-old goldendoodle, Kirby. “He is calmer at the house, after a walk,” Anderson said.

Adoption agencies in the Camas-Washougal area

• West Columbia Gorge Humane Society

The no-kill dog and cat shelters are located at 2695 and 2675 S. Index St., in the Port of Camas-Washougal Industrial Park, in Washougal.

Questions? Call 335-0941 (dog shelter) or 835-3464 (cat shelter), or email info@wcghs.org.

Website: www.wcghs.org

• Humane Society for Southwest Washington

The dog and cat shelter is located at 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave., Vancouver.

Questions? Call 693-4746 or email adoptions@southwe...

Website: www.southwesthuma...

There are benefits for dogs and their owners to spend time running or walking.

Justin Anderson, of Washougal, said his 4-month-old goldendoodle, Kirby behaves better with a walk.

“He is calmer at the house, after a walk,” Anderson said.

They were recently walking at the Donald and Angeline Stevenson Off Leash Area, at 32nd and Addy streets in Washougal.

“He is a sweet guy,” Anderson said, regarding Kirby. “He is just a lot of fun to have around.”

Tom and Debbie Huffman, of Washougal, said having a dog encourages them to walk more.

“She’s got a lot of energy,” Debbie said, regarding Daisy, a 4-year-old Brittany spaniel.

Ginger, a 16-year-old Brittany spaniel, is also a member of the Huffman household. She takes walks in the backyard.

Tom and Debbie enjoy the company of their dogs.

He likes hunting pheasants and quails with Daisy.

“We’ve had dogs all our lives,” Debbie said.

She grew up with a Brittany Spaniel.

Kathryn Jacobsen, of Washougal, was another visitor to the dog park on a Saturday afternoon.

She was with her dogs, Lady, a black lab, and Edward, a toy poodle.

“Lady is so energetic,” Jacobsen said. “We have to take her on walks to get her calm.

“I can’t imagine a life without pets,” she added. “Edward is a butt head, but I love him.”

Jacobsen’s residence also includes her sister’s cat, Shaela.

Joe Harrell, of Washougal, has three dogs — Lexi, a chihuahua mix, Marley, a schnauzer, and Mia, a Jack Russell terrier.

Lexi was adopted from the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, in Washougal.

Harrell said he walks more, because of the canines.

There are also emotional benefits to having dogs around.

“They even me out a bit,” Harrell said. “I don’t have time to be sad anymore.”

He recommends people research the various breeds of dogs, “to make sure it does not take more work than you are wanting or you have time for.”

Jessica Matous, of Vancouver, visits the Camas Farmer’s Market with her miniature labradoodle, Lily.

Matous and Lily sometimes run together.

“It’s more for her, to give her the exercise,” Matous said. “I do my own stuff — go to the gym, cross train and do Pilates.’

“She loves to run and chase pinecones,” she added. “They are better than a ball.”

Matous admits having a dog sometimes motivates her to get out of the house.

“She is nice companionship,” she said. “She is always happy to see me.”

Cat owners discuss

the benefits of felines

Tony and Corinne Gulseth, of Camas, are dual pet owners.

They have two cats and two dogs.

Corinne described cats as the “perfect pet.”

“They cuddle, but they also give you space,” she said. “That independent, free spirit is priceless.”

Tony agreed.

“With cats, you get that pet feeling, but you can take off for a weekend without finding a pet sitter.

“But leave lots of food and water,” Tony added.

He said cats can be calming when they purr.

Corinne said dogs are a huge commitment, and they are needy.

“But they are very loyal,” Tony said.

“The right pet for the right person can be invaluable,” Corinne said. “People should be sure before they make the commitment.”