Hi, my name is Michael. And I touch poop. A lot. This is not, however, by choice. In fact, I expend a great deal of mental energy trying to convince myself that it isn't poop. I often tell myself it's mud. (Dear God, please just let it be mud.)
If I can't convince myself that whatever I may be touching is mud, I just sing "la la la" in my head until the offending substance has been removed. Deep psychological scars aside, the poop-touching doesn't seem to have done me any harm. When I had my daughter, she quickly became part of the poop-filled circle of life despite my best efforts. It doesn't seem to have done her any harm either. In fact, my daughter and I are disgustingly healthy.
Recent studies and articles like this one from the Human Food Project are beginning to explain why that may be.
It turns out that bacteria--or probiotics as the frou-frou yogurt people like to say--are actually pretty good for you. Beneficial bacteria protect us from harmful bacteria and strengthen our immune system. We all know that having pets is good for our stress levels and children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies, but this is a whole new frontier to explore. A whole new way that allowing animals into your life--and your home--is good for you.
So just in case you needed another reason to adopt a dog (or another dog) here it is. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to give my steam cleaner a work out several times a week and I'm not giving up my multiple carpet spray bottles positioned strategically around the house. But this does make me feel better about what my four-legged family members might be contributing to our home besides . . . well, you know, unconditional love.