We had a series of wonderful dogs when you were growing up. All rescued, don’t forget that.
Max was your yellow lab. When your father and I were first together we used to visit a farm where they raised sheep and bred yellow labrador retrievers. Max was to be their new breeding sire, he was young and beautiful. We played with him every time we went and we told them we wanted a puppy from the first litter. Just before they were ready, it turned out that the new bitch had hip dysplasia and they decided it was time to retire from breeding. We got a call. They wanted Max to have a good home with loving people and they offered him to us!
Max was amazing, although at first he didn’t care for being left during the day. He ate my good work shoes to show me, and the remote control to show daddy how he felt about it. When you were born he slept in our room, as he had always done. From the day you moved to your bedroom he slept in your room until the day he died; he guarded you like gold. Max had a heart the size of Montana, he was run over several times, almost died, but kept on going.
Then there was Quincy, the adopted golden retriever. The story is complicated but the short version is that Grandma Joan got him after her ex moved to the house at the end of the driveway. Since Quincy didn’t know him, he would bark like a crazy dog every time he came out of the house. He offered to pay Quincy’s airfare if Grandma would send him to us, which she did. Quincy was a good dog. His best day in New Mexico was the day the the chicken fell out of the sky… but that’s a story for another day.
And then there was Jericho the border collie, who was really your dog. After Quincy died and our Aussie puppy was stolen, Bob and Dolly brought him home from Texas for you. Of course they didn’t ask us. They invited us over for dinner and after dinner they said, oh, we have a surprise. They let him out and he ran into your arms and it was all over. His white patches were red from being tied out in the Texas red clay and he was a sorry sight. You gave him his “bible” name because it was what you were doing in Sunday school! And he was beautiful when we cleaned him up. Jericho was afraid of a lot, especially that “vacuum monster”, but he was the most loving dog that ever was.
From the time you were just a little bit your job in the house was to feed the dogs. Responsibility for other living things can begin at a very young age. Even a toddler can scoop out a cup of kibble and put it in a bowl. Of course you ate your fair share (yuck). This remains your job, although now it’s just cats. Your pets taught you some important lessons over the years.
Loyalty, devotion and fun, these are all things that a dog brings to your life. They are good things to have whether you have a dog or not. You can learn more about unconditional love from a dog than almost anywhere else in life. The vacuum won’t hurt you even if it makes a big noise, that is a good thing to know, especially once you live alone. Borax laundry booster kills fleas, also very good to know. Sprinkle it on carpets and mattresses, it kills most any kind of bugs (not bedbugs, unfortunately). And it doesn’t hurt the other living things. Most important, remember that your pets are not able to feed themselves, just as your babies wont be. Your daddy told you when you were just a tyke, feed the helpless first, then yourself. Your dog needs you for survival and trusts you with his life, the least you can do is feed him on time.