A Dog Story – Dog Barker

By: Paige Figueroa
His dark brown eyes, with the innocence of a new soul, crawled up in the warm arms of the human soul. He thought he belonged, his thoughts were of giving, his sweet puppy breath and wet tongue reaching through smells all new with finding a place in a human who shared his new found love.

Six months later – the first weeks of whimpering for momma and the wet spots in the night. He created in the form of chewed shoes, garbage strewn all over, couch corners chewed, and the need for carpet cleaners. For his owner, it was time for something along the lines of Dog Training for Dummies, and the downside of puppy’s poopies behind the chairs or under the table. For the puppy parent, there was the frustration of working 10-hour days not counting the commute. Going out of town meant spending lots of money for a doggie hotel, not to mention the hundreds of dollars in vet bills for shots and the sock he swallowed.

The Commitment

Four-legged “children” depend on you, look for you, are excited to greet you, and can be ashamed if scolded. This puppy will lick your grime, sweat, and skin off when they are happy. Then there are the baths, nails, haircuts, ears, and of course THE glands. You know that old “scratch-your-buttocks-on-the-carpet trick.”

What about belly aches, diarrhea, dry hot nose, the limping paw? It’s all part of being a pet parent, with the never-ending responsibility to raise them up to be a part of your pack. Many times we consider what is best or works for us, not realizing they live 12 to 15 years to our 70 (if we are blessed). They are interactive creatures, and it doesn’t help them to be locked up in a crate 8 to 12 hours a day. Maybe you can consider doggie daycare, a dog walker, a dog sitter, or perhaps think twice about buying or adopting someone that might not fit in your program. Get fish, a cat, a gerbil, or a hamster if you need a critter.

Dogs are meant to be companions. If they are not companions they are hunters, herding dogs, retrievers, working class. Some breeds are great at varmint control. Think about their purpose, and not just the human perspective.

Busy and Yappers

Loving dogs should not just be about what they do for us and what makes us happy. We need to have the courage to ask what we are taking away or adding to their lives. Will we abandon them when they become an inconvenience or a burden? Being a pet parent is a choice, and it is extremely important to make the right one. In the world of a dog, there is no divorce court, no alimony, no child support, just overcrowded shelters as the result of too many returns of adopted pets where the people made bad choices. Please think about all of these things before you take on the responsibility of being a pet’s parent. They are depending on you.
By: Paige Figueroa

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