Influence Positively Interview - Pamela Webster
Video Wednesday: This is why senior dogs are amazing

Honoring those who came before Cleo

Many of us with dogs today, had dogs around us at some point in our childhood. I am no exception. With Pet Appreciation Week going on, this seemed like a good time to remember the five dogs whose paw prints I carry still. They deserve recognition for their role in my early childhood development. With my dog Cleo such a complete presence in my life today, it is easy to be forgetful about the five who laid the foundation, the ones who came before her.

The five dogs from my childhood were the first to show me that dogs give fearlessly, and how they influence positively. 

Living in the now with Cleo
"School is in session daily with Cleo."

Before Cleo (BC), there was Scooter, Shadow, Tasha, Zorro and Maggie.[...]

These were the four-legged influential figures that made up my childhood. They were my guides, counselors, and playmates. I joined in caring for them and being cared for by them. As the lead male, Scooter made sure I was watched over and secure in my bed after the Wonderful World of Disney was over on Sunday nights. He stood guard at the window protecting all of us. Shadow, the oldest female, kept me warm while I did my homework during the week. She acted like my mother, ensuring I towed the line. I wish I had photos of us together, but unfortunately my family didn't take the same copious number of photos like I do today.
My "little brother" Zorro who showed me how to stand up to my bossy sister.

Tasha kissed my face and worried over my knee after I fell off my bike on our gravel driveway. She stepped in as a caring aunt might. Tasha's son Zorro, showed me how to stand up to my older sister's teasing, by peeing on the side of her bedspread. He quickly became my little adored brother.

Maggie showing self-control for my mom

Maggie was the last of our family dogs, but the first to actually smile at me, each and every time I came home from college, she showed me that dogs never forget the ones they love.

Tasha Winning Her CDX
Tasha was a champion of the ring and our hearts.

They were more than pets to me, they were my canine family. These Dobermans nurtured me, while their teachings shaped my character. I will always appreciate their lessons in civility, discipline, focus, and kindness. Being the youngest in a large family, I was their eager student, and I'm grateful they filled in for my absent parents. Today I can look back and see how our time together made me a better person. Maybe their influence showed in my demeanor, when I met Cleo.

It's Pet Appreciation Week, and I honor all of these dogs who taught me at an early age what respect means. I'm forever grateful to them. Though I believe school is still in session most days with Cleo (our current subject is the power of the human-animal bond), it is nice to know that I started out with a solid foundation.

Did you have a childhood pet who taught you about life? Do you have one now? I'd love to hear your story.

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