Dogs are everywhere. Statistically, about 44% of American households have at least one dog – which is higher, in some counts, than have children.
As I stare at my own two little Boston Terriers, I begin to wonder exactly what it is that is so rewarding. I think it’s safe to say that the added expense, housekeeping, and general responsibility for another living thing should be a deterrent. But clearly, this is not the case. Why do we ignore the impracticalities of pet ownership?
Well, I have said on more than a few January Firsts, that “this year, I want to be the person my dogs think I am”. That pretty much covers the ridiculous excitement that ensues every time I come home – even when I’ve been gone 10 minutes. It can be intoxicating to be exalted, just for being you. Then there’s the effortless companionship that comes with a day on the sofa watching movies, or spontaneous walk when no one else wants to go. I am thankful for these things often.
But, on closer examination, two less touted reasons for the relationship with our dogs, comes to light.
1) They are our “forever babies”. Unlike raising children, we have no expectation of them ever functioning independently in the world. They do not need to have other successful relationships, earn a living, or even learn to drive. For us, this takes all of the pressure off of the relationship, and lets the cream rise to the top. It is something like what I imagine has been described to me as the “perfection of being a grandparent”. We require nothing of them but to not bite, and not poop in the house. And let’s be honest, we forgive even those things pretty easily.
2) In the case of most dogs, the comedic element cannot be denied. On many occasions, they do things that can only result in a genuine and spontaneous laughter. In our home, this is held in the highest regard. What higher calling can there be than to bring levity and being present in the moment to a household? Dogs achieve this without even knowing it, and we respond with genuine grateful affection -never complaining about following them, in the rain, with a plastic bag.
So, next time you come home to your guileless groupie of a companion, be sure to give him or her an extra pat and a kind word. Enjoy the unencumbered love with shameless abandon and strive to be the person your dog thinks you are.
PS. Here are a few fun and helpful links for dog owners. These are vetted (no pun intended) by yours truly, and highly recommended.
Pet sitting and walking services. Call Sharon at 630-915-6912 www.4legsandaleash.com
Fun dog items delivered monthly to your door. www.barkbox.com
Dog Grooming at Happy Tails. 9018 31st St. Brookfield IL 708-485-6976