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    Living with a dog

    Steve-King

    Whatever happens after a dog is introduced to the family home, one thing is for sure: life will never be the same again!

    Akin to having a new baby in your home, you will be both challenged and blessed by the furry bundle that now has your full (?) attention. You may be woken in the middle of the night by whining, barking or something resembling a wolf howl, particularly in the first few nights after the dog arrives. Before house training is achieved, you may come home to an “accident” on the carpet, the smell of which easily exceeds the smell of Febreze that you so carefully sprayed earlier in the day. Having digested something at the dog park, you may find your dog heaving, or worse, at any time of the day or night. Items of clothing may disappear or be shredded and flower pots may suddenly become a great place to bury bones, with your prize begonia lying on its side. Walks in the local park suddenly become an exercise in who can pull more and in which direction. Your daily living expenses go up when you factor in dog food, vet bills and possibly doggy daycare. You may find a loss of personal space: never will going to the washroom be the same!

    So you may sometimes ask yourself “why did we get a dog?”

    Fortunately that is an easy question to answer for those that look upon a dog as an integral part of the family. Unconditional love is the one that resonates with me. Dogs don’t consider their relationship with you as “if you do this for me, then I’ll do that for you.” They will love you no matter what. The next attribute that stands out for me is their positivity: whether you’ve been separated from your dog for 5 weeks, 5 days, 5 hours or 5 minutes, they will always greet you as a long lost friend, eager to be with you and often bringing something in their mouth to show you. Although not renown for sharing material items, they excel in sharing their feelings. Their DNA is such that they can pick up on your mood, whether positive or negative, and know when to spend time with you to ease your stress or anxiety. They want to be with those close to dying so that they can comfort them in their final hours. Dogs do not understand subtlety in any shape or form and their black and white approach to life can be a breath of fresh air when it comes to what they are thinking. Dogs are also very consistent in the way they live their lives. Unless your dog is sick, you will know how they are going to react in most situations, unlike a lot of humans. In my opinion, nothing beats a dog snuggling up to you, or finding them on your lap, both to give and receive affection.

    So to answer the question of “why did we get a dog?”, just remember they are man’s best friend, for a reason. I also wholeheartedly agree with the expression “in a perfect world, all homes would have a dog and all dogs would have a home.”