The Joy of Keeping Dogs
My little niece once went with us on an evening walk, she was about 3 years old and a man in his 40s was passing on the opposite side of the road with his dog –a German Shepherd dog (about 1 year old). The little girl was so excited that she freed herself from the mum’s grip and ran straight across the road shouting: “mummy dog, mummy dog” she kept repeating this while she ran towards the dog. The mum was so scared that she closed her eyes with her two hands hoping that a car will not run over the little girl and that the dog will not bite her. The little girl ran to the dog and started petting the dog. My sister was scared but ran after her to save her all the same.
The dog fortunately was a friendly one started licking the girls face. The little girl was telling her mum that the dog was beautiful: “Look at the hairs” – she said with excitement in her eyes. I was watching the man with the dog and noticed he was ready to discipline the dog if he (the dog) misbehaves. My sister simply went there carried the little girl and started heading home. The walk was over. Today, that little girl is 12 years old and owns a female Doberman pincher which she loves so much. She plays with the dog on daily basis and gets stained and yet loves the dog so much.
I have tried to think out the reasons for this love for dogs but the answers seem to be complex. I have tried to ask myself why I love dogs and other animals but the answers are so many to invalidate themselves. I simply concluded that it’s innate to love dogs for those that love them. It’s so bad that even when I get a bite from dogs, I still love them, and somehow I find a reason not to blame the dog for his actions.
I have met many individuals that hate or dislike dogs, many of them have their different reasons. These reasons when weighed well are kind of reasonable. Some will complain of the dogs ‘poop’ and urine that are disposed indiscriminately by these dogs. Some will talk about the dogs jumping on their clothes and staining them especially when they need to go to important places. Others will complain about the dogs destroying their cars with scratches and tearing their car bumpers –I have witnessed this one before. Some just don’t like anything that is not human be it an ant, lizards or dogs, some of these persons will behave very hysterical at the sight of a dog especially when the dog begins to approach them.
Most times when I listen to these individuals I ask myself why they are particular about the misbehaviors of these dogs rather than the joy of keeping these dogs.
I have met over 4000 dogs in my life due to my career as a vet and I can tell you a lot about each of them especially concerning their behaviors. One of my clients was amazed as I described his dog’s likes and dislikes as I was trying to teach him how to follow his own dog. He was so dazed that he asked me if I know all these about all the dogs I care for and I quickly said no and told him that dogs change as they grow older just like humans.
There are a lot of things I enjoy about dogs which dog haters a missing which mostly is their displays; dogs have a way of welcoming you when you leave the house and come back later. One of my dogs will turn in circles for about 5 times before jumping on me. The other one will hang her hands in the air as if she wants me to lower my face. The other one will howl several times waiting for the rest to finish their own greeting before he comes to greet. To be sincere these displays always put a smile on my face even when I had a bad day.
If you are still reading this article and you love dogs then you might know what I’m talking about. Thank you!