Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Dogs Teach Us

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His name was "Gordo" and he was loved by everyone who came in contact with him, but especially by his best friend Michael. Gordo passed away this weekend after a month or so of illness, baffling the doctors and breaking everyone's heart.

We LOVE dogs around here, so I thought I'd try to explain a little of the "why?" today for those who don't understand or worse - are cat people. :)

Dogs help teach us how to love. Not just the scratch behind the ears kind of love, but love that takes responsibility for the welfare of another living being. You receive the love everyday from your dog, and not only are you inspired to try and be the person your dog thinks you are, but you look out for him - feed him - care for him - sacrifice for him.

Dogs teach us that responsibility isn't an event, it's a way of living. If you want your child to learn responsibility, you don't go and buy an Easter chic - buy a dog. Dogs like to be fed regularly, enjoy a cool drink of water as well, and they require frequent trips for relief, relaxation, and exercise. They aren't an event - they are a regular part of the ebb and flow of everyday life - more than you ever realize - until you lose one to death.

Dogs teach us about that too. Many of us have our first real encounter with the finality and heartbreaking loss that death brings when our dogs pass away. Just know that when you buy your child a puppy, that they will have to deal with the loss of that faithful friend one day, and it's going to hurt. A lot. My first dog was a collie named Cheyenne and one day when he followed me to the mailbox, the garbage truck came by and he chased and caught it. Still as vivid today as it was then. When we lost our Great Dane (Henley) to cancer, it was a tear in the fabric of our hearts that's still healing nearly two years later. The only thing worse than losing a dog is never having one to love at all.

Dogs and mankind have been companions for centuries now and dogs have proven the "man's best friend" quip to be true thousands upon thousands of times over. Unlike other pets, they see their "master" as worthy of everything they can give. So when something like the untimely death of "Gordo" happens, forgive all of us who love dogs when we ache with Michael. It's just we know what he has lost.

Here's hoping that in time, Michael will find another pup to love, care for, and be loved by.

Dogs rule.

1 comment:

  1. Awww...David...I am so sorry. I am a dog person as well. There are currently three four-legged fur babies living in my home, and I treasure each one of them dearly. I cannot fathom losing one of them.