Neither my husband nor I grew up with a dog. But now that our kids are old enough to actually have some input into our household, we decided that a dog would be a natural addition. Just seemed right to add a furry companion into the mix. All this was based on the only worlds of knowledge that we had for getting a dog… On the fact that we saw dogs at our friends’ households, and they cohabitated well. On what we saw in movies like Benji and Lassie. They loved their owners and their owners seemed to like them a considerable amount. And the whole personal responsibility thing seems nice for kids to learn with a dog. Not to mention, Parents Magazine, I’m sure somewhere along the line, promised that kids with dogs have better immune systems.
So we did it. And, let’s say that we get it now. That it’s not just an insert-dog-here mentality any longer. We (shall I say it?) can’t imagine our household without the fuzzy little friend.
Any dog owner could have told us that this shift would happen, and has told us. But you don’t really “get it” until you “get it”. We’ve come to understand why people have dogs and why they are so affected when they don’t anymore. We’ve come to understand how engrained they become in your every day. How they love you unconditionally. Aren’t there sayings and refrigerator magnets and pillows about this? So now we know the lessons that only a dog can really give, without saying a word.
Run. Play. Go for it.
Clean up later.
Get hot. Get tired. Jump in. Cool off.
Scratch where it itches.
Speak up when you need something.
Apologize with your eyes.
Wag your tail unabashedly.
Fetch things happily.
Accept lots of love.
Greet your loved ones well. And always.