Every once in a while a Dog comes into your life and change everything.
I dedicate this post to my dear friend, Denise, who had to put her little “Foxy” dog to rest today.
What’s not to value about owning a pet? They love us unconditionally, protect us, keep us healthy by getting us outside, exercising, and socializing with others. According to Vanderbilt University, dogs can even decrease levels of human loneliness and give humans a sense of purpose as they care for their animal companions. And get this according to a new study they found that people really do love dogs more than other humans. I would have to say I love my husband more than my dog, but if anything ever happened to Tom, my Lucy dog would definitely be my go-to companion.
Humans are more empathetic to dogs than other human beings. Only a baby human elicited more sympathy than an adult dog from study participants. This is because we see dogs as part of the family, rather than just pets.
But keeping all that in mind and the fact we as humans usually outlive our pets by many years we tend to have to deal with the loss of them a lot more, and that is a painful process to go through feeling the loss is like losing a member of our family.
Reflection: “If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.” ~Charles Yu
I am learning that being a member of my family is similar to being in a group, a pack or a tribe. I know there is something different about us, I mean after all I’m a dog. I notice though that they are different from each other too. So that makes me feel like I fit right in. I’ve begun to feel what they feel, and their feelings have become my feelings too. If they get scared about something like thunder and lightning then that makes me believe there is something to fear about it even if I don’t know why. If they like someone a lot, then I like them too, and sometimes I go overboard showing it. I don’t know why I do that either, but love makes me feel that way. The worst thing about being a member of a group is when they go off, and do things without me. I feel the saddest then, and even cry sometimes when they leave. But I notice that sometimes they leave each other behind or they go in different directions. The best thing though about being a part of a family is that they always come back. That the love we have for each other never leaves us even when one of us is gone. Yes, there doesn’t seem to be anything stronger then tribal love. It’s the very glue that holds us together, and I’m a lucky dog indeed to be a part of it.
I have lots of doggy friends of different sizes and colors. One of my very first friends was a Great Dane I meet at my people training class. He was as big as a horse with black and white patches like a cow. Then there’s my neighbors Lulu, Phin, Teddy and Gracie. I don’t know all the different nationalities of my neighbors. Lulu is very big and white, Phin is medium size and black, Teddy is small but not as small as me. He’s kind of funny looking with tight curly hair and a mixture of gray, silver, black, white, brown all over. Then there’s Gracie who is just a little bigger than me, I think, it’s hard to tell because she has lots of thick reddish brown fluffy fur. I also have lots of family doggies to play with. Hunter is a big German Shepard. When he barks it scares me but his bark is louder than his gentle personality. I have a lot of fun playing with Stella. She’s medium big and as black as night. I like nibbling on her long skinny legs. It makes her dance. Some of my doggy friends are pure bread like me, but the others are a mixture of all kinds of breeds, but none of us seem to notice or care. Each butt smells different it’s true, but on the inside the dog god made us all the same.
Hot dang I’m glad I’m a dog, a lucky dog at that indeed, for I was born to love and be loved…
I’m learning that people sometimes want to turn you into what they want you to be. Do you know anyone like that in your life? Maybe they don’t like the way you do things, so they tell you to stop doing that. I get that a lot. Maybe they don’t like the way you say things so they tell you to stop barking. I get that a lot too. Maybe be they don’t like the way you dress so they put their clothes on you.
Little people are especially good at playing this game. They like to pretend that I’m a little person too. So they put clothes on me. I wish I could say the word stop just so I could be me. I mean how would they like it if I put a tail on them to walk around with all day. I bet it would feel as cumbersome as it does for me to wear a dress.The dog God made me special just the way I am same as He made you as unique as you are.
Everyday is a new adventure full of fun and challenging things to learn. Here I am learning that sometimes the things we want the most can roll beyond our reach. That no matter how hard we try there are some things in life that can’t be done without a little help from our friends. It’s even better when we’re having fun working together. On the other hand I also learned that if I kept pushing my ball under the couch with my nose I could get my Tom to keep playing this fun game with me. But then the next lesson came when I pushed it one too many times. Then it was no longer a matter of not being able to reach it, but then having my ball taking away from me for a time out. That’s when I look at my Tom with my sad eyes that say, “ah…you’re no fun! Dog gone it!”
As I said in my last post entrée the thing I love most about my new family is making them happy. I’m learning that sometimes I can do things on purpose to make them laugh, and sometimes I make them laugh just by being me. Like this morning when I took a leap off the deck. I got a good run going around the deck first picking up speed then jumped, flying a few feet in the air. Now you have to I envision it in slow motion to appreciate the moment of my experience. Once I jumped I felt light as a feather, my hair blew back out of my eyes and I could see clearly certain things I couldn’t when I’m grounded. I mean just because I have all four paws on the ground doesn’t mean I can see and experience all there is in this new world I live in. I’m learning that there’s much more to see and feel than what meets the eyes alone. Things like humans laughing. I wonder where does it come from inside them? It’s catching and has a way of touching me inside that makes me happy and playful. I can’t burst out laughing like my people but I can express how it makes me feel inside with my actions.
Look how much fun I have with my Tom making both my Connie and him laugh.
I guess since I’ve come into my new family’s life I’ve turned it upside down a bit. I don’t know why because to me everything seems as it should be. I’m 6 months old which makes me about 3 1/2 in people years now. I’m easily distracted especially when I go out to pee. If I see a bird, bunny or bee I forget what I came out to do, and want to play with all Gods creations. I love being outside in the world walking bare paw on the grass, I don’t care if they get muddy or wet. I love digging in the dirt smelling all the scents, hearing all the sounds even taste-testing different things like those lip-smacking rabbit turds, yum!
I think I’m good for my people. I keep them hoping up and down as they have to take me out several times to pee. It makes them walk in their bare feet too as they don’t always have time to put their shoes on. It also gives them a timeout from what they were doing. I look up at my Connie and see something as she breaths in the fresh, is it happy, peaceful, contentment? I don’t know a lot about these things yet, it just looks like she’s feeling and sensing the same things I am, and everything seems as it should be.
Then there’s the leader of our pack, Tom. He’s like the lion in our tribe. When he roars, he expects me to listen. I just love teasing him. When he points his finger at me with a roar to stop, I jump up and nibble at his finger. He roars some more, and I jump back and forth yapping at him. He says, “don’t you talk back at me!” and I ruff, ruff, ruff right back again. The whole time my Connie is laughing at us both. My Tom tries to keep that stern look on his face, but I know if I keep it up I can melt that look right into a smile even a chuckle or two. He loves me, I know it. Sometimes I don’t know who I love more…my Connie or Tom…maybe I just love them both for who they are. What I do know for sure is that I like making them happy and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it even if it is in upside kind of way.
That’s right, my Connie is going to school to learn how to get me to do what she wants me to do, but I am really training her how to keep giving me treats.
The first day of school she packs my lunch with only one kind of boring treat. It didn’t take long for me to lose interest in doing anything but playing with the Great Dane next to me. She was a gentle giant. There was tiny Chihuahua on the other side smaller then me. We played together too. The teacher had to come over and try her hand at training me. She had better treats so I did what she asked me too. My Connie tried and tried to get my attention, and I do love her, but I get distracted so easily at my age. Finally the nice lady next to us gave her some food to work with. It was real chicken, yum! Now that’s some good stuff that gets my attention.
My Connie’s homework is to be a living walking cookie jar for me. I mean what kid wouldn’t want their Mom to walk around giving them treats all day. I did learn a lot of things though, my name, to come when called, to sit and even lay down. I think I must be the luckiest dog in the world! I love my new family even that big guy Tom. He’s kind of like that Great Dane, a gentle giant he seems a bit scary but he actually loves me too.
This is Lucy & I resting after our morning walk or should I say chilling out as I ice my ankle and knee. Not to worry…I’m only trying to keep ahead of the swelling that comes with all the extra activity that Lucy has brought into my life. It’s a good thing, but my life feels a bit on hold right now while I keep a watchful eye on her. She wants to chew on everything so I try to catch her at it giving her one of her chew toys instead. Then there’s the housebreaking. I’m not sure if I’m training her at this point or myself to take her out about every hour.
I feel like I did when I brought my babies home from the hospitality. My life was their’s as I put my own on a shelf for a while and tended to their every need. I know I gave up my nice easy going life for her and while I think I should be saying to myself, why’d you do that? I have to say I find it worth all the work. She makes me feel alive in a whole new way, and that’s a good thing at my age, don’t ya think?