Research has long shown the special bond that exists between a dog and his or her owner. The same holds true for cat owners.

A new University of Chicago survey of 2,000 adults, who recently became dog owners, revealed better physical fitness, improved mental health and reduced stress levels compared to the days when they didn’t own dogs.

“People say dogs are a man’s best friend, and according to the new survey, those people are right,” says East Coast newspaper reporter Christopher Ingraham.

Dog owners scored slightly higher on all aspects of well-being when compared to those with cats.

However, the researchers emphasize the mental and physical benefits of owning a pet in general.

“Yes, any pet,” points out Ingraham.

The research found that pet owners are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs. More than half of the respondents surveyed said they never felt lonely, thanks to their pets.

Other data shows that owning a pet can lead to improved cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure while simply bonding with a pet.

In closing, it’s interesting to find out where the phrase “man’s best friend” originated.

In 1789. King Frederick of Prussia was quoted as saying, “a dog is man’s best friend” in reference to his beloved Italian greyhound.

Prussia was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea.

Gooseberry Falls

a sight to behold

Visiting Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior, just north of Two Harbors which itself is 26 miles north of Duluth, never grows old.

For those who haven’t been there, please put a visit to Gooseberry Falls on your short list of things to do.

Our latest visit to this spectacular Minnesota attraction took place on Sunday, May 19.

Cool weather didn’t stop people of all ages from looking in awe and listening to the thunderous roar at the upper and lower waterfalls at Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Hiking through evergreens and birch trees was an added bonus.

To get the most out of one’s visit, a must see is the nearby Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center. It’s there where you can find park information, interpretive displays, a park video, nature store and more.

Nearby and up the shoreline from Gooseberry Falls is Split Rock Lighthouse, another place to visit.

You’ll learn that the Ojibwe lived along the North Shore and as early as 1670 the Gooseberry River appeared on explorer maps. In the 1870s, shortly after Minnesota became a state, commercial and sport fishermen began to use the area around Gooseberry Falls.

We’d suggest spending at least one night in or near Duluth.

You can pitch a tent at Gooseberry Falls State Park for only $23 a night. Some motels in the Duluth area charge as low as $85 a night.

Your trip to the North Shore will be something very special.

Tordenskjold Township

has a rich history

Tordenskjold Township, southeast of Underwood, was named in honor of Peder Tordenskjold, a renowned Norwegian admiral who lived in the late 1600s and early 1700s.

Otter Tail County residents who visit Scandinavia will see the name Tordenskjold displayed at various locations. He was a veteran of military battles and was honored by Norway’s King Frederick IV in 1716.

Here in Otter Tail County, Tordenskjold Township was organized in 1869, a year after the county itself was organized in 1868. Last year Otter Tail County celebrated its 150th anniversary, with special events held at Old Clitherall just east of Battle Lake.

A noteworthy location in Tordenskjold Township is Fort Juelson which was built in July 1876.

Today the site is preserved as a historical location 2 miles east of Underwood and just north of State Highway 210.

More information can be found about Fort Juelson by logging onto the website of the Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Tom Hintgen is a longtime Daily Journal columnist. His column appears Saturdays.

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