This is a very special time for dog lovers and close to my heart. My husband and I have been involved with rescues for years and we have long ties with Humane Societies. The stories are sometimes horrific, sometimes heartbreaking, and most of the time they make me want to string up the people responsible, but I promise, no horror stories here.
There are ups and downs with rescuing abused and neglected darlings, but the outcome has always been worth it. We have a soft spot for Welsh Terriers, little black and tan dogs that some people think look like miniature Airedales although the breeds are not related. Our current Welsh Terrier is a rescue we nicknamed Psychodog. Her favorite things are her collection of stuffed turtles. The first one came with her, the rescue counselor gave her the second turtle, and then a friend gave her a huge, yellow one. Since three constitutes a collection, she began receiving stuffed turtles from other family members (current count 8). She loves those things, and will walk around carrying them in her mouth, wagging her tail. Her tail wags so fast at times it is just a blur. It is part of her morning ritual after breakfast, and again anytime we have been out of the house and come back home. It is fun to watch her dig through her toy basket to decide which stuffed animals deserve to come out to play. She has other stuffed toys, but the turtles win most of the time.
Furkids add so much to our lives. They love us no matter what. They wake up happy, wagging a tail just to be near us. They are there when we need a lift, to lick our faces and make us smile. Their unfailing loyalty and unconditional admiration is a wondrous thing, spreading joy wherever they go. Oh, if only our own lives could be so simple and uncomplicated!!
We can learn a lot from dogs. Some years ago, I found this in a column by Ann Landers, and I still find it to be profound wisdom.
“If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your problems,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when something goes wrong through no fault of your own and those you love take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, or politics,
Then, my friends, you are almost as good as your dog.”
If you are thinking of adding a furkid to your family, please consider rescuing a forever friend from the local shelter or humane society. You can save a life today, and the rewards will be worth it. If you cannot have a dog (or another dog) consider volunteering at a local shelter. They always need help to clean cages, walk the dogs and just provide much appreciated ear scratches and tummy rubs.
97 Ways to Make Your Dog Smile by Jenny Langbehn
Dogs Don’t Bite When a Growl Will Do by Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber
Merles Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan
Amazing Gracie A Dog’s Tale By Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff
A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs and Me by John Katz
Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship
Included are pieces by Lynda Barry, Rick Bass, Maeve Brennan, Margaret Cho, Carolyn Chute, Alice Elliott Dark, Lama Surya Das, Pam Houston, Erica Jong, Tom Junod, Caroline Knapp, Donald McCaig, Nasdijj, Ann Patchett, Michael Paterniti, Charles Siebert, Alexandra Styron, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and Alice Walker.
Rescuing Sprite A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish by Mark R. Levin