I listened to a fascinating interview about why and how we treat some animals like humans, and others not so much.
It's a long interview, but some of the points I came away with are 1.) Americans are madly in love with their dogs 2.) many other cultures are revolted at the idea of having animals in the house -- and forget about the bed! To them, having a dog sleep in your bed with you is equivalent to having a rat from the street on your mattress along side of you.
So many of us are living alone these days and perhaps that it is one reason we are so enamored with our pooches. Or cats, or birds: you get the idea. They are the bright spots in many peoples day -- someone to come home to, a creature to greet you and love you with abandon.
The other big surprise for me: some studies show that people who have pets have a better quality of life and live longer. That was a bedrock notion for me. Now, this interview concludes, there are also studies which site the exact opposite. What?! All I know is, my dogs give me great joy and great are at times a great inconvenience. Responding to their need to pee or poo at night, after I'm full from dinner and ready for bed is sometimes a torture. I don't have a yard that I can let them out into anymore, so I've got to walk them. The little one will take care of business right outside our back door, while the bigger one needs a good 15 minute walk before he gets busy. And in the rain? Please.
On the other hand, I get to wake up next to those big bulgy adoring eyes every morning. I get to enjoy antics daily. I laugh. I admire. I fawn.
I do know the joy of first love when your new dog comes home with you, and the incredible anguish when they die. And they will, and you know it, and you just hope it is years down the line. When my chihuahua was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, I fell apart in the waiting room at the vet's office. I agreed immediately to surgery (whatever the cost) and the surgery went well. Then, a year later, the same kind of tumor was found in the lip of her mouth. Another surgery, and I asked them to take as little as they could so as not to disfigure her terribly. They did a good job, and now she has a little sneer owing to the lopsidedness of her mouth. They didn't get it all, but they said it was slow growing, and she has not had it since. Sometimes I imagine the day that the life passes out of her little five pound, three legged body, and I am overcome with grief. I suppose it's a rehearsal for the inevitable.
A blogging friend's dog, who shares a name with my little one, needed to be euthanized recently, and I can't tell you how very sad I am. Her readers came to know both her adorable Goldens, and came to love them from afar. One died many years ago, the other just now. Funny how I dog I've never met or touched has impacted me so much. I gave my Golden an extra bit of love this morning.
Because you never know.
I think dogs are wonderful companions. My family always had dogs when I was growing up, and later in life I had a few myself. It's been so many years though since I've had one, and I truly long for one. We've had cats, but it's just not the same (although Bonsai was a true charmer as you well know!). I keep telling Roger we should get a dog. We pet every single one we meet (if they'll let us), but we haven't made an effort to get one. Give your little one and the Golden a big hug from me. They are sweet pups always.ReplyDelete
Hint: small to mid size dogs are much easier to handle as I get older. You guys are the perfect specimens to have a dog -- you are retired, you don't travel to far flung places, you hang out, you take long walks. That's what a dog needs.ReplyDelete