Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry - Podiatry Insights

Not just a dog - a friend, a confidant, a counsellor and a personal trainer!

Dogs have always been a large part of my life, I have never known a time without a dog from being a small child through to an adult, after having my own children and working full time, dogs just fitted in around the family.

Rescuing dogs is a choice I made a long time again ago, I just felt there were too many dogs abandoned for me to purchase from a breeder. These rescue dogs have usually chosen us and we have never been selective of any breed, we just took a dog that needed a home at the time.

They do need a little time to settle in and some need more work than others which is usually dependant on their previous life. I feel rescue dogs seem to be more appreciative of their new start and quickly become very much part of the family.

Although we have brought different breeds of dog home each time, we have rescued two German Shepherds consecutively in the last few years, this is quite unusual for us, getting the same type of dog twice. It is a breed that has surprised us the most, they are such gentle, family loving, loyal and intelligent dogs that have impressed us to the point that my children would now only choose a German Shepherd to have for themselves.

Chester the Jack-Chihuahua cross is my ninth and latest rescue, the smallest dog with the biggest personality and is the best of friends with Luna the shepherd, an odd combination that clearly works for the pair of them.

I believe dogs are the one constant that has kept my sanity over the years, it didn’t seem to matter how bad my day might have been, I was always assured of a friendly welcome when returning home. Dogs just want to please you and be loved; it is really that simple!

It has been well documented already that keeping dogs can help with mental health issues especially for those people struggling with depression and here are the reasons why i I think that maybe true.


Walking – is something all dog owners will do on a daily basis and in all weathers! it’s a discipline that eventually becomes a routine, I certainly feel out of sorts when I haven’t been out on a walk. It is also a great way to keep fit as dog walkers usually clock up an average of 7- 10 miles a week – every week! I am very lucky where I live as we have some amazing walks around us, I find it very therapeutic looking into the distance and admiring such great landscapes. Beach walks are always a favourite although Luna and Chester are not fans of swimming in the sea but do like running on the sand and ‘ball throwing`. The North Sea certainly blows the cobwebs away and gives a glowing complexion


Socialising – people usually talk to you when you have a dog and its very noticeable when you walk without one! They are definitely an ice breaker; I often don’t know the names of the owners of the dogs we meet, we just refer to them as the mum and dad of `the dogs names`-and I’m fairly certain I get referred to in the same way? Although my combination of German Shepherd and Jachuahua causes a bit of a dilemma for most folk as usually people don’t like to “pet” German Shepherds (they do have big ears and teeth) but Chester the Jachuahua is too cute to ignore, so Luna gets her fuss after all! My short walks can take quite a long time as there is always someone to talk to and catch up on local chitchat!


Talking to your dogs – yes most will consider that to be madness but I talk to my dogs all the time and they do seem to understand what I am saying to them. My reasoning is, that I don’t talk to myself at all as that would clearly be a sign of madness! But I do have conversations with the dogs all the time and as a bonus they keep all my secrets!


Children’s best friend - it is so good for children to have a companion throughout their childhood that they can tell all their woes to and who will always be there for them. It also teaches a child a sense of responsibility for something else apart from themselves that needs to be looked after by walking and feeding. I feel this is a really important lesson for them to learn. With my own children, they accepted that if they wanted to choose a dog, then a full commitment to that dog had to follow, they were always true to their word and would take their turn to walk them, without complaint.


Endorphins – it has long been recognised that having a dog improves your mental wellbeing and helps with depression, having a dog makes you get out and about. Any exercise including dog walking will release endorphins, which is the `feelgood` hormone that makes you feel better after any activity. Even on the days when you don’t want to go out, once you have been, you definitely feel the benefits, it lifts your mood.


Calming effect - I can sit on a night watching the telly and twiddle with a soft furry ear, sometimes I’m totally unaware I’m doing it but stroking either one of my snuggly dogs is so settling and calming for me. For those people who are suffering from anxiety, stroking a dog and taking them out has been proved that this actually reduces the stress hormones in the blood. Even sleeping with your dog has been known to do this (although I’m not sure I want to sleep with my German Shepherd as she is a bit big!) They can distract your negative thoughts into something more positive and be so loving and unconditional with it.

Hopefully, if you are thinking of getting a dog, this insight might be of help with your decision making. There is always a dog for everyone, whether it be `fireside dog` needing a bit of home comforts in its twilight years or a` boisterous puppy dog` wanting plenty of exercise and attention. You just need to recognise which dogs suits you, your home and your commitments.

All dogs, in my eyes, whether they are rescues or not give more than they take and are worth the effort.

My last four rescues have been from the Whitby Dog Rescue, where they do amazing work for dogs in need of rehoming. You can visit Whitby Dog Rescue's website here.

About the author

Lindsey Ebbs

Bsc, Pod, Med, MChs MCPod

Lindsey qualified in 1988 from Durham School of Podiatry as a State Registered Chiropodist. Lindsey then returned to Durham in 1993 and qualified with a BSc in Podiatric Medicine.


After working in a private practice in Guisborough and briefly for the NHS, Lindsey set her own practice up in 1989 at Mulgrave place, Whitby. Two years later Lindsey moved to Hunter Street and developed the Hunter Street Podiatry practice for 23 years before moving to the Green Lane Centre in 2013.

When fundholding for GP practices was introduced in 1991 Lindsey was asked to set up a six month pilot Podiatry scheme for Egton Medical Practice to see if it could be rolled out nationally. It was so successful Lindsey stayed for Eight years! These clinics are now present in most GP practices all over the country.

Lindsey specialises in Biomechanics (Musculo- Skeletal Care) with Prescription Orthotics, helping patients with painful joints/muscles and sports people to achieve their full potential of movement.

The Foothub Whitby
3, Byland Road
YO21 1JH

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