When I was a child my father wanted us to grow up with a dog. He hatched his plan when I was four years old by bringing home a shiny black puppy someone had given him. We named him Dip. Needless to say Dip was a puppy and puppies love to play. Dog fear was in full force with my sister and I as Dip’s antics caused us to sit on the back of the sofa all day. Dip would run and we would sit on top of the sofa knowing he was too small to follow. That plan failed so Dip found a new owner. My dad never gave up. Years later my dad announced the plan that it was time to get another dog. At that time, Spiegel catalog had a section in the rear where one could actually order a dog. We had a family meeting so we could all have a say in the type of dog. My brother had the idea of a St Bernard and went so far as to tell my dad that they could be trained to use a toilet. My sister and I had seen the Wizard of Oz so naturally we wanted the dog that resembled Toto, a Cairn terrier. We all agreed on a little Pekingese, a little dog of Chinese ancestry. We named him Fuyoing VI but called him Nate. The catalog allowed one to select the breed and sex but not the color. On the day that Nate arrived by train, we were met by a small black fluff of dog in a chip bed crate. Our fear of dog dissapeared and dad’s plan had worked.
There are few places unconditional love exists and human/dog interactions is one. Our dogs depend on us to provide love and care and in return provide us with devoted companionship that lasts all too short. Every dog lover will admit that a dog’s life is just too short and we usually outlive them. That is a small price to pay for such intense admiration and love on both sides.
I am proud to say I am owned by two pugs Mavis and Potus. As I have lived with them we have developed a mutual language we both understand. They have learned my emotions and I theirs. We know what makes each other happy. Nothing brings me greater joy when Potus serves as my alarm clock and his face is one of the first I see. I have never seen a being so excited for the day to begin than a dog.
We dog owners can be a particular lot and many of us feel as much love for our dogs as a parent feels for a child. We purchase coats, sweaters, toys and other paraphenalia to make not our dog’s happy but to make us happy. We give our dog’s birthday parties, celebrate holidays and even take them to doggy spas. There is no limit to what some dog owners will do. I tend to think that they care not for all of that fanfare but they sure look cute in those little sweaters. For those folks who often say “they are dogs, not children,” you are correct, they are not children and for that I am grateful.