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