|Me, Dad and Pabby|
Later on, we adopted Leslie, a greyhound who had been abandoned in the campsite across from the Chisholm fire tower. I only heard Leslie bark twice, both times when she thought the family was being threatened. Leslie loved little kids. They could crawl all over her and she would just lie there and take it.
|Russell at the lake|
After Emily, we got Russell, the smartest dog I have ever known. Companionable, curious and always wanting to learn; he had a particular affection for children and tore up both the interior of the van and more than one windowsill trying to get at some children to play with them. I am sure he thought of himself as a child.
For a time, we had a day-home operating next door. We cut a hole in the fence and Russell would drop his ball through the hole and the kids would throw it back at him. When we went for a walk, these same day-home kids would ask us if we were Russell's mommy and daddy. For years we met parents who asked us how Russell was doing.
A year after we got Russell, we also got Anna, an inbred Jack Russell who came from a low rent puppy mill on the poorest farm I have ever seen. Anna was not too smart. But she was loyal and loving and had the best sense of humour. She was particularly attached to our youngest and thought up endless ways to taunt him into playing with her.
In the in-law's house, the family dog was revered to the point one Christmas my father-in-law was dispatched to London Drugs on Christmas morning to get the dog a Barbie because "it's not fair that the girls have dolls and Gatsby doesn't."
After Anna and Russell died, we did not hesitate to get more dogs even though we no longer have kids at home. Sometimes we think we are crazy. Why do we have dogs? They are a hassle. You have to clean up after them. They always want in or out. They track in dirt. They need to be bathed. You need to book dog friendly hotels and make arrangements when you travel. Why? Why have dogs?
Dogs never judge you. They don't care what political party you belong to or what race you are or what your status in life is or how much money you make. They love you unconditionally. Dogs are loyal. They don't abandon you because they disagree with you. They don't even stop loving you when you are mean to them. Dogs are unique. It's an adventure finding out what their personalities are and discovering what their talents will be. Dogs make you get outside yourself when you are feeling down. They remind you that the world isn't just about you. Dogs care about how you are feeling. Dogs never lie. They are just who they are. Dogs love life. Your smallest word of praise makes them happy beyond words. If you give them their freedom, their joy knows no bounds. And if you have treated them right, they always come back. Because they love you. Kind of like your children, when you think about it
Why have dogs?
|Finian and Pippa|