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Archive for August, 2011

Loving a Dog

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Toby in Killarney

Owning a dog, responsibly, is much like parenting – we raise them, care for them, teach them, and love them as though our hearts may burst. Like parents, we are concerned for their well being, their future, their health and what friends they keep. We are often also beside ourselves with worry and frustration when we feel we’ve gone wrong in their upbringing; when they have a fight at the dog park, destroy a lamp shade, or jump up on your mother-in-law’s Sunday best – and as a behaviour consultant, it is often I who picks up the pieces of a distraught doggie parent. But, though we may be more consumed by their shortfalls, it’s important to recognize why we go through it at all, why we love them to begin with. More often than not, it’s when they’re gone from this world that we really sit down and think about what made our hearts swell; so before that time comes, Toby, this is why I love you.

I love you because, without being taught to do so, you always come to find me and say thank you for every meal before cleaning up those last few pieces of dinner.

I love you because you can’t pass a sprinkler, hose or splash pad without trying to devour every last drop of water with the intensity of fox after a rabbit – and it always makes me laugh.

I love you because you communicate so well the intentions of another dog. I don’t doubt your opinion of my canine clients for a moment, and you are the best partner a trainer could ever ask for.

I love you because you always know just how much to bark when a stranger approaches me when we’re on our late night walks, or when we’re waiting in the car for your Daddy while he finishes work and someone gets too close to our car.

I love you because when I tell you it’s bedtime, and every night you try to bring a toy, you raise your head and whack it on the floor when I tell you to leave it. It’s so human like and hilarious, and a smile before bed always leads to good dreams.

I love you because you have such a wonderful sense of humour, and no matter how busy, sad or frustrating my day has been, you always make me laugh.

I love you because you’ve grown into such a kind, responsive, empathetic dog who always does the right thing at the right time, because you’re always in the right place and offer your paw just when I need it, and because the way you look at me gives me the strength to face each day.

I love you because you’re absolutely perfect for ME, and because you know I’m perfect for YOU.

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