My mother loves dogs. She's always had a dog as a child so when I heard that she vehemently opposed her condo becoming pet friendly I was in shock. Her reasoning is based on dogs and cats' dander, barking, messes on the grounds of common property, that kind of potential problem. All true but if you're a responsible owner and you've got house rules and those rules are maintained then all of that shouldn't become issues for owners or neighboring tenants. The fact is that whether you have a bowl full of goldfish, a parakeet, rabbits, guinea pigs or a loving dog or cat, during times of stress, having a pet can lower one's blood pressure and increase your alpha state. Dog owners tend to stay more physically fit, less lonely, and according to AARP, pets make for less fearful elders and all of us baby boomers stepping into the golden realm of aging are looking at a major change in life phase. I never thought about the importance of creating a will or outlining my health care preferences. I see my priorities shifting and I'm not alone. Millions of us are confronting similar issues and we all seem to be looking carefully at "quality of life" considerations. Especially for those of us who may be living alone a pet can be the comfort you are missing. Alan Beck, director of Purdue University's "Center for the Human- Animal Bond" says, "Animals provide us with much of the same kind of social support that people do." I know that my dogs give me their unconditional affection whenever and wherever I'm in need.