My greatest wish is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.
I didn’t write that quote, and I don’t know where it came from, but it is an honest statement of what I wish my life would be.
I’ve written this year about clearing my life of unwanted things. I don’t need things, but if everything was taken from me, I’d be lost without my family and dog. No, my dog is family as many people think theirs is too.
It is safe to say that I’ve always loved animals. Growing up we had cats mostly and a miniature poodle named Princess. My dad was not a big animal lover, but she got under his skin. She’d move over close to him as we drove (she always went with us on vacation) probably trying to win him over. Or maybe it was just body heat she was after.
When I married, my husband soon came home with a puppy. Six weeks into the marriage he arrived one day with a German Shepherd/Collie mix. I’d never been around big dogs. My mother was afraid of them, but it didn’t take long for us to become friends. We named him Strauss (after all he was German) and he lived with us for years.
When the kids were little, we got them a Golden Retriever puppy for Christmas one year. He was so big he could carry the box I sent to bring him home in. He didn’t want to be left in a box or a kennel, he was family and demanded to be where his family was at all times. Our kids became his kids and he didn’t like arguments with them. He always sided with them. He protected them, but when he was hurt, he always came to Mommy. Dad thought he might make him into a hunting dog, but that never happened. He was family.
Our dog, Athena, came from Craig’s List. It had been 14 years since we had a dog and my husband had run out of patience with me deciding whether or not to have another child. The human kids had been gone for a while. He took her from a soldier who was leaving for Afghanistan (at least that was the story, we wondered) and she acclimated to our house very quickly. Today when we travel, we have some great friends who babysit for her. I hate to leave my daughter in a kennel at the vet’s.
Pets are a big part of many people’s lives. They become family as they should. I believe animals have a soul and feel as much as humans do. If you have a pet, you understand that statement. If you don’t, get one, they’ll make you more human that you ever thought possible.
What kind of pet/family member do you have living with you?