I am a dog lover, always have been, always will be.
I grew up with little Desi (bottom left), who by the time my brother and I were around was a grouchy, old dog. But I still loved her. Then, when I was in middle school, my parents got Pandora (Pandy for short) a beautiful, fawn, retired greyhound. Pandy was a typical dog, very friendly and even won Parkville’s Most Talented Dog one year for her lovely singing voice. After Pandy passed, my parents decided to get another retired racer named Brazil (upper left). Brazil acts more like a cat than a dog. She spends a good deal of time alone in the bathroom unless there is a lawnmower outside; then she is glued to your leg in fear.
Other important dogs in my life are my brother’s dog Annie (bottom right), my in-laws dachshund Pepsi (Travis and mine’s Christmas present the year we got engaged) (upper right), and my friends dogs including Bentley, Paris, Rocky, Mopsy, Max, and Harrison.
And i couldn’t forget my little ray of sunshine, Uno. He came into our lives quickly but I couldn’t be more happy to have him around. He has such a personality, he’s impossible not to love.
This morning, I finished reading the book Marley and Me. As I am finishing the last few chapters (and of course bailing like a baby), I wonder, “Why do humans spend so much time and resources on these things that give back so little?” We can say our dogs love us, but do they really just love the things we provide them? Almost on cue, Uno decided it would be a good time to snuggle, hopping up in my lap as I cry and finish the final pages of this wonderful book.
John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, says it best, “Loyalty. Courage. Devotion. Simplicity. Joy. And the things that did not matter, too. A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges other not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.”
I believe dogs, or other pets for that matter, bring out the best in us. Animals may not, or should not, be the most important aspect in our lives, but somehow they tend to intertwine themselves into some of our most important memories. Animals tie our families together and help knot up the strongest bonds. They make us, as humans, better. They make our relationships more meaningful. We Bought a Zoo says it best, “I like the animals. I love the people”. I would do just about anything for my little Uno, but the most important thing he does for me is make my family closer.
If you are looking for a good dog book, try The Art of Racing in the Rain. This is the only book that literally made me laugh out loud and cry like a baby within the same chapter. As I mentioned above, We Bought a Zoo is the movie of animal lovers. What books or movies melt your little animal loving heart?