Getting a dog isn’t (just) a gift. It’s a responsibility. And who’s to say who benefits more? For in learning to care for a sentient being…we find they have trained us, too—in patience, exertion, breathing through upset. My dog has raised me.
Over the years, I’ve learned that my best friend likes: a dip in water when it’s hot; when it’s cold, a blanket (my home is brrr on winter nights). Regular bathroom breaks. Not to be overfed. Healthy yummy vegan dog food (an average dog’s diet kills 200 animals a year—our love for an animal doesn’t excuse so many other animals’ suffering and, you know, murder); and joining me just about everywhere I go has kept him healthy (he’s 14). Consistency: sitting before meals, walking alongside (not pulling), entering spaces just after me, greeting tense dogs around the rear, not face-first.
Millions of pets are killed, every year. Please rescue, vs. buying from a breeder or pet shop (you can adopt any breed). A dog is a daily commitment. It can be costly (forget plastic toys or outfits; invest in checkups, and not-plastic-filled dog beds). I often see dogs ignored, kept inside, even returned to the pound. If our pooch is acting out, that’s on us: they need more activity, then training, then reward.
This is an excerpt from my soon-forthcoming second book, It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with your Life: A Collection of Precious Wisdom for Everyday Life. It’s 108 quotes, with commentary. Pre-order it and save $5. All preorders will be signed, free!