Some dogs enter our lives by choice. Others, by chance.
No matter how you found your dog (or maybe your dog found you), it is fascinating that humans have this unique desire to share our lives, homes, and hearts with another species. Some might say it’s for companionship, protection, or just to make the house less lonely.
I believe for those of us who truly know what it’s like to love a dog, it’s none of those things. We get dogs for the same reason we long to have children or get married; because we simply can’t imagine a family without them.
With that in mind, it seems cruel that two species with a bond so strong and family-like should have such vastly different lifespans. If only dogs and their humans could grow old together on the same timeline: one where our childhood dogs get to meet our own children, and if we’re lucky, maybe even our grandchildren.
Sadly, this of course cannot be. Instead, the dogs that defined our childhood are immortalized only in faded photos, email passwords, and old oak trees under which new children play.
But the universe has a way of matching us with the dogs we need, when we need them. Maybe they weren’t all perfect dogs, but they were perfect for us, and each one marks a chapter of our lives.
Loving a dog as a child means forging your first friendship. As a teen, it means having fur to cry into when it feels like no one else understands you. As a young adult, it means sacrificing the last of your paycheque for their care rather than a luxury for yourself.
As life goes on, loving a dog means walking them even on the days that you’re exhausted from running after children, leaving dinner parties early to make sure their bowls are full, and sacrificing precious sleep in the freezing mornings to let them outside. It means making arrangements in your will so that they’re taken care of, even after you’re gone. It means knowing that each one is waiting for you, and that when you reach the final page of life’s book, there will be a beautiful reunion with happy tears and a chorus of wagging tails at the rainbow bridge.
Loving a dog means giving a chapter of your life to them, because they give you their entire life. After all, everyone thinks they have the best dog. Everyone is right.
Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.