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29
Dec

for the love of a dog

I’m out of gas today, and so is Jazz.  Like me, he didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.

But, I had to get up – he didn’t have to get up until he was ready, and he slept for nearly 30 minutes after I was up!

Anyway, I’ve been working on the computer most of the day.  I was also doing a little blog-browsing – looking at animal photos, and came across an article on the No Dog About it Blog, with the I Am a Forever Dog, Not an Until Dog, photo (below), and I liked the message.  I really liked the blog, too.  Here’s a link to the blog:  No Dog About It Blog.

The article on the blog has to do with adopting dogs for someone’s Christmas present.  Or, getting a puppy “from Santa” to make kiddos happy, but not having a plan to deal with the rest of the dog’s life.  That happens more often than not, and we’ve all probably heard the horror stories.  People have the greatest of intentions but don’t realize how much care and attention a dog requires.  Cats are easy, not so with dogs.  There is a lot of work associated with having a dog.  It’s a big responsibility, and they can be very expensive.

When I was young, we had a little Chihuahua that we named Pedro.  He lived a good long time and we had him for many years. The black and white photo (below) was my brother feeding Pedro his bottle.  That was 1967!

One Christmas, while we still had Pedro, when my brothers and I were very young, Mom and Dad (Santa), bought us an adorable little chocolate-brown Poodle.  We named him Honey Bear.  We were crazy about him.

We’d had Honey Bear only two weeks when one day my folks called the three of us kids out to the patio to have “a talk.”   The first thing we all wanted to know was when will Honey Bear be home, he’d gone to the vet the day before and we missed him like crazy.   Well, my Father broke the news to us – while my mom sat silent and tried to hide that she was crying.  (Mom never cried.)   Then it became a family crying-fest. We all cried and cried and cried.

My brother giving Pedro a bottle, 1967

Honey Bear had been very sick, my Father gently told us,  and would not be coming home.  Honey Bear had Encephalitis. The vet put him down.

After that we never had another dog but Pedro.  It was too upsetting for every one.  It must have upset me a lot because my memory of that time is very detailed, and I was only about 8 at the time.

I never had my own dog until I got Jazz, my 10 pound Chihuahua, when he was 9 weeks old.

One of the reasons I’d wanted to have a dog was to get out and walk more as I was just getting over two painful knee replacement surgeries.  Getting a dog, I thought, would be great therapy to strengthen my legs.  And it was.

However, before I decided to adopt Jazz, I had to look at my life to be certain I could give him the attention he needed.  He barely weighed two pounds, was so small he required four feedings a day to sustain his little body.

I lived close to where I worked so it was easy to come home every day at lunch and feed him.  I also had neighbors looking in on him during the day, too.   He was so small and I was ultra-concerned about making sure he was okay.

That was 7 years ago.

Today, my life revolves around my animals schedules ( I also have a cat.)  I plan my social life around my dog’s feeding and walking-times, as if he were a child.   In turn, he is the perfect dog – so happy and fun and wonderful.

If you have a dog, you know what a responsibility it is.  Just like a child – you’ve got to care for it, train it, love it.   When you love a dog, they repay in kind, but give back so much more.  A dog will change your life.

So, I really liked the message from the German Shepard Dog Community on Facebook (below).

No dog about it Blog

Written by Shandell Dugdale and used with the permission of The Calgary Humane Society.

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