Man’s best friend. Dogs carry this title for a reason. Put simply, they are loyal and protective of us, without judging and giving their stupid opinions about everything we do. We have human friends for that (aww, love you guys!). When I find myself in the company of a fellow “dog person”, I notice they get a little more of my trust without doing a single other thing to earn it. Maybe not the smartest thing on my part, but there you go.
Not so simple, though, are the relationships we have with them. We sometimes treat them like our own children, only with more freedom. Example: Jumping on the furniture while yelping really loud, or licking food off of the floor. I rarely let my kids do either of those things. The furniture thing had to stop for my doggies,too, once Jackpot moved in. He pointed out that the reason they weren’t listening to me was that I let them walk all over me. Literally, like even while I was sleeping. We dress them up in cute outfits,too. Well, not “we”. It’s actually a pet peeve of mine unless they actually need to be clothed for warmth,etc. I’ve seen way too many dogs unnecessarily bedazzled beyond any living thing’s comfort level. Horrible.
Our dogs are a part of our family, yet according to the law they are property. I learned about the frustration of this while divorcing my first husband. The only reason we even went to court was for my Pesci. He agreed to walk away from everything without a fight, house included, if I gave her up. Nope. Court it was,then. The judge even had me bring pictures in of her to see who this dog was that had 2 young, broke people paying for lawyers. But, how could I just give up my best friend? Pesci kept me company when I didn’t feel like being alone, but didn’t want to be around other people, either. Dogs are awesome for that. She also saved my life many times, waking me when my blood sugar was 20. She wasn’t trained to do that. She wasn’t a service animal. She just took care of me. A mutual giving relationship. I rescued her from a dark corner in a cage full of much bigger dogs when she was a few months old. She never stopped trying to thank me, even being very patient as I waited too long, I think, to have her pain as an old dog finally taken away.
Pesci was my first dog. She wasn’t the last. I have had 5 total, 4 of them at one time, and have just one left. Sweet Stella. All of my dogs came before my kids. All rescues. Never had to consider if they would be okay around my small children, as I would have to consider now. I got very lucky. The advice I get is to make sure next time I get a puppy we can train, around the kids, with the right temperament. I don’t have the right temperament exactly, yet I’m still allowed to be in the same house with them, so does it really matter? Calm down, I know it does. Jackpot and I have had quite a few discussions on this topic. With a few specific breeds in mind, needing a puppy, I am so worried that we won’t be able to find another rescue that meets our needs. And I don’t know how to have a dog that isn’t a rescue. Then there’s timing. Better now while we still have Stella? It’s hard to imagine our home without the fur, but I know after she is gone I will need some time before giving my heart to another ( see How Long Will I Grieve For My Dog, if you have experienced a loss). But is it unfair to this old dog to bring a rambunctious puppy in?
What’s my point in all of this? I guess it’s that our wonderfully simple, complex relationships with our canines define us quite a bit. They bring out our love, and our concerns, and our dedication. A dog person isn’t someone who just likes dogs, or prefers them over cats. It’s a person who can’t live without one in their life, because we need that kind of best friend. I had best friends in kindergarten, in elementary school, that I never talk to anymore. Hell, my best friend from high school and I even took a hiatus for a few years and then picked things back up where we left. But, Pecsi, Austin, Harley, and Zildjian – well, I still cry about missing them at least once a week. Just sayin’.
Click HERE to go to the home page and see all of my categories. Something for everybody. 😉