Since Wednesday was National Dog Day, I thought I’d write about our furry pets.
If you’ve ever had a dog, you’ve known unconditional love, and you’ve had a best friend. They don’t care if you’ve been out too late or if you had garlic for dinner or if you’ve gained 20 pounds. They just love you.
As a child, I grew up with a cat in our house. We loved all of them very much and in their own way, they loved us. Then I married a man who was allergic to cats, so I guess that was out for me. We moved to Marysville and got a puppy. Oh my gosh, it was a lot of work – nothing like a cat that takes care of itself.
Puppies need help with everything and wetting on the carpet drove me crazy. Then we trained our puppy to wet on paper on the floor, because it was very cold outside when she was born. She was just a tiny poodle and we couldn’t send her outside.
But then one day I had a paper sewing pattern on the floor that I was pinning to some fabric. Our little puppy came over and started wetting all over the paper pattern. What could I say? That’s what we had trained her to do.
When she was about six months old we taught her to ring a cowbell, which we hung down low by the door, to indicate she wanted to go out. At first, when I took her paw to hit it, she would jump back from the noise, so afraid. Finally she got it because she was quite smart. Soon she was using it to tell us when she needed to go out.
That little black and white poodle, Cindy, lived for almost 17 years. Before she died, Daisy came into our lives. She was another little miniature poodle, I deemed smarter than my children at the time!
From the beginning she was a star. We taught her to bring the Journal-Tribune in. She would travel down our 150 foot driveway to grab that newspaper by the little plastic bag and bring it all the way up to the door. Sometimes it was almost as heavy as she was. Of course, she worked for treats that could be something to eat or just a scratch behind the ears.
One day the neighbor called and said, “Help, help a thief is in my driveway!” With a smile in her voice she explained that Daisy had come over to get her paper, too, and was now dragging it to our front door. Well, that had to stop. I guess Daisy thought if one is good, two is even better.
Daisy slept in our bed. That might make you say, ugh. Well that’s what I said too. In the beginning, one morning, I looked over and there was a little eight pound dog with her head on the pillow, laying sideways next to my husband. When it was cold she would burrow under the blankets down by our feet to stay warm. Seriously, all of this took some getting used to, but after awhile I just said, oh well.
She was a wonderful dog and we still talk about her 15 years later. Our dogs were family, for sure, and when they died it was terribly sad. That’s why we don’t have a pet now. It’s just too hard to say goodbye to them.
All of these thoughts came flooding back to me when I received some cute stories about dogs.
Dog rules for humans:
Don’t come home smelling of other dogs
You must feed me every goody you eat.
Let me outside even though I just came in, there was an area I forgot to sniff.
I can sleep anywhere I choose, even if it means you trip over me.
Don’t shish me from barking while you are on the phone. I heard the wind blowing the trees.
Don’t move me while I’m sleeping sideways in the middle of the bed. You have enough room on the edge.
If it lands on the floor, it’s mine!
Human rules for dogs:
(They start out with good intentions but obviously get modified by the dog!)
he dog is not allowed in the house. OK, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture. The dog can get on the old furniture only. Fine, the dog’s allowed on all furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with humans on the bed. OK the dog’s allowed in the bed but only by invitation. The dog can sleep on the bed whenever it wants, but not under the covers. The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only. The dog can sleep under the covers any time. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.
And finally, these thoughts: “People who really love their dogs are the most kind and giving people. They are the ones who don’t freak out because the dog gives them a kiss or eats off their plate. When they lay down at night, the dogs are on the bed or at least snuggled close by to be safe from the dark and dangers that roam in the night. They love all dogs they had in the past, especially the ones they have now.”
So, give your dog a little scratch behind the ears from me.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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