Friday, April 9, 2010

Want love? Get a Dog. Seriously. (Here are some of ours.)

These are our 4 dogs. From largest to smallest they are: Shadow, Baron, Picasso, and Pico. They are sometimes good, often times bad, and always loving.

We love animals. We have other pets as well. I suggest to everyone to get at least one pet. They really add so many fond memories to your life. And they add another dimension often missing in life; unconditional love.

A lot of people in our lives set conditions for us to follow if we want their love or respect or their admiration. (Or just a good yearly evaluation).

They are our parents, our kids, our teachers, our co-workers, the sales clerk, the boss, our grandparents, etc. I could on and on. Fact is, no one really, really loves us unconditionally. We certainly do not love ourselves that way.

But pets do. Especially dogs. They are always so happy to see us. They are good companions, especially when we are sick.

I have seen so many loyal dogs over the years. I go into so many peoples' homes and see dog after dog. Sometimes I cannot even get near the patient. The dog is standing guard on the hospital bed just daring me to come near their sick master. It is amazing how they just seem to know that the end is near. And they protect until the end.

Many moms that I meet often say to me, "I hate it when my daughter comes over to play at your house, they always come home bothering me for a dog."

Then I get to hear all the excuses why they did not get one for their kids.

We aren't home enough.
They are messy.
I am allergic. (yeah, right)
My kids will not take care of the dog and I do not want one more thing to take care of.

The last comment is probably the one that is closest to the truth. And I know it. I am the default pet keeper in my house.

But that is okay. I get the most unconditional love. And it is wonderful.

A lot of parents complain that all their kids do is sit and text friends, watch TV, play video games and attend organized sports. They do not seem to interact beyond that much.

A pet, especially a dog, changes that dynamic. You can touch a pet. Love a pet. Go out and walk and never feel alone with a pet. You can talk to your pet about your problems and cry your eyes out holding your pet. A pet makes you bigger than yourself.

And they teach me a thing or two as well.

Like I am a pro at getting pee stains out of white carpet now.

But I digress.

I just want to add that our children are with us a really short period of time. It seems like forever, but it is not. We will spend much more time with them as adults. And what we do in that short amount of time that we do have them with us will mold them into who they will become and what obstacles they will face, not just when out in that big scary world that we try to protect them from, but from the hardest time of all. When they are facing just themselves in the mirror.

I cannot tell you how many times I hear from adult children how their mom and dad would not get them a dog (or whatever pet they wanted, but most times, a dog). These adult children of course have dogs now, but it is still a sore issue that they bring up time and time again as something that really placed a wedge between them and their parents forever. Amazing, I know.

But true.

So, get the dog.

Our best dogs have been from the shelter, but that is a personal decision.

My husband always says, "Life is a series of dogs". In our life, that is very true.

So, give it more serious thought when your child asks for the dog. Really talk about the reasons why or why not. Make it a family decision rather than a dividing line.

Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~Milan Kundera

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth


  1. Hi Janice...

    I love your blog... just wanted to let you know that this blog post was the tipping point for me getting a dog for our family last spring. He's a Portuguese water dog and he'll be 1 year old in Feb.

    I just reread the post today and wanted to let you know it impacted me.


  2. Thanks, Tom. That is wonderful to know! I am glad to have inspired you. Lucky dog. I am sure he is well loved.

    Happy New Year!