National Dog Day is this weekend and if you don't (gasp!) have one already positively influencing your life, now is a good time to consider the reasons why you don't have a dog.
Below is a handy (and humorous) flowchart to help you, or a friend, with this important decision. Are you ready for a dog? Should you volunteer at a shelter or become a dog sitter instead? Sure, dogs make our lives infinity better, but before you rush out the door, consider these many responsibilities, and real costs, outlined by the clever folks at The Bold Italic:
Having a dog is wonderful, but also realizing not having one in your life because you answered no to most of these questions above...is also a good thing. Read any of my posts on my volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and you'll see what I mean.
What words come to mind when you look at a dog? How about after you spend time with one? Do you find yourself coming up with the same expressive words even if you are around different dogs?
I've spent a lot of time with different dogs over the years, and more since I've been volunteering every week at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and I realize now that the same words keep coming to my mind when I spend time with a dog.
Do you hear any of these words when you see a dog?
You would expect a big dog to move through your house like a bull in a china shop. I've been around noisy, gregarious Labradors who thunder from the kitchen to the yard, back through the sliding glass door until crashing onto a couch. Why? Because someone they knew drove up the driveway.
On the flip side, I grew up with Dobermans who could be light on their feet, if they wanted to. As a teenager I played a few games of hide and seek with Zorro, and lost not to his incredible sniffer but his stealth. He actually snuck around the couch from the opposite side before I heard or saw him.
After reading a new Scientific American post, "Who's Better at Sneaking Around: Dogs or Teenagers?" by Julie Hecht (@Dogspies), I got to thinking about my big Shepherd Husky girl.
Over the course of our life together, her physical presence was always large than life, but could also be quite silent. At young adult, our return home was greeted by her racing up to poke us in the stomach, followed by her jetting down the hallway to jump on our bed so hard the mattress and bedding slid two feet. She'd proceed to gallop back to the living room until her body hit the couch hard enough for it to slam into the windowsill.
She did this particular greeting for about three years, long enough that we were shocked when she ever so quietly took a piece of cheese off a plate. In front of us.
Until that moment I didn't think our dog knew the word subtle.
Our 85 lb. Shepherd Husky pawed, poked, bumped and jumped her way through the day. That afternoon when she flowed smoothly by the coffee table with the cheese and crackers on it, nipped the cheddar slice, and tiptoed her way into another room like a jewel thief, I was shocked!
I also couldn't stop laughing, at myself. Boy, did she just show me what it means to "assume" wrongly about a dog. Later that night, we added another nickname for her, kitten feet.
~ Sharon Castellanos
Is your dog a cat burglar or a stomp the yard type?
This little dog is trying so hard to manage these stairs. I feel his frustration. Anyone who has tried to work through their pain or anxiety when trying something new, and difficult, knows what this corgi is going through. You can tell he's trying to talk himself into one more step.
Next time I climb one of the many San Francisco hills and stairways, I plan to channel this little corgi. What a little motivator...
Taking your dog for a walk is something everyone needs to do daily. The exercise benefits both ends of the leash. However, the next time you are out with your dog consider the stranger passing you on the street. If it's me, you should know that your dog may have just made my morning...
As much as I appreciate the blue bird of happiness, having this sweet puppy cross my path made my day. How about you? Do you get a shot of joy from a stranger's dog?