The Unconditional Love of a Dog

West Highland Terriers and a Chihuahua

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The human race is fraught with unimaginable acts of torture, violence, mass murder, and, in general, man’s inhumanity to man. Homo sapiens will kill and maim members of their own species and other species simply for pleasure and sport. I don’t understand those kinds of actions and I am glad I don’t. However, one thing I am acutely aware of is the look when a dog will peer into my very soul, serving up a potpourri of unconditional love and devotion which is unmatched by humankind. In my opinion, animals walk on two legs and not four.

I have had a passion for animals since I can remember. I have had cats, bunnies, chameleons, goldfish, tropical fish, and parakeets. Then there were the dogs. By the time I turned 12 years old I had owned three dogs and all three were named Skippy. I have no idea where the name “Skippy” came from except that perhaps it was just easy for me to say. In my opinion, there is a divine aura which encircles my four legged friends, as they eagerly exhibit a loyalty that lasts a lifetime. It is so sad that we mere mortal humans do not emulate the quality of trust, love, and commitment which is given so freely by Canis familiaris.

Each Skippy came from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and selecting just one dog to take home is a gut-wrenching process. Walking through the SPCA filled me with a host of emotions. Just as polarizing as north and south magnets, I was overwhelmed with feelings of extreme elation, followed by the depths of despair and sadness. For you see, even as a small child I was keenly aware of the death room that lurked in the shadows at the end of the hallway. If Beelzebub existed, then surely he thrived in the evilness locked within that space. It is as though a time machine has transported me back in time when I visualize those visits and walks at the SPCA.

It's over. Some dogs were resigned to their terminal fate as they laid listless, curled up with tail tucked under their muzzles, not even raising their heads to see their visitor. Hope had long passed for this group of dogs. Although I methodically would look into each kennel, many of these lost, forgotten and heartbroken animals refused to even make eye contact. The dog to human and soul connection had expired and life was all but over as I hurried by them.

Maybe there's hope. The next group of my canine friends still held on to a shred of anticipation that some person or family may still want them. This was a cautious group and it was evident by how close they would approach the front of the kennel. They appeared to be on the cusp of wanting a new home or just giving up. They were neither friendly nor unfriendly and seemed somewhat mildly sedated as they stood approximately three feet from the front of their runs. These are the dogs that need coaxing and kindness and lots and lots of love.

Take me...take me...I just know I'll love you. Finally, we have the guys and gals that are so full of energy, expecting a new home will be obtained at any second. The barking is deafening and could shatter glass, as tails wag with the breeze of turbine engines. Their bodies sway back and forth in sheer enjoyment at the sight of a new prospect. Eagerly their noses are pressed through the chain linked runs, with tongues licking the empty air. You can almost hear them saying, “Take me, I’ll be good. Take me, I’ll love you. Take me; we will truly be soul, mates.”

I have been owned by mongrels, an English setter, a golden retriever, West Highland white terriers and a Chihuahua. Every breed has had their own characteristics, charms, and uniqueness. The mutts were always ready for action, children, and playtime. The setter and retriever wanted to fetch, play ball and swim. My Westie, Dexter (his sister Daphne died a few years ago and we still grieve over her loss) is stoic in his demeanor. If you’re looking for kisses, then count him out because they are few and far between. He is ever vigilant in protecting us from moles or chipmunks and in the 16 years we have been together, he has never done one thing wrong. Rest assured, wherever my toe is, Dexter’s body isn't far away. We are inseparable. Finally, there was Jasmine the Chihuahua. She passed away last year and the void she left is still painful. When she first arrived it took three days of Dexter and Daphne excitedly trying to encourage Jasmine to exit her crate. First, a nose appeared and then those long skinny legs of hers came out running. She was by far the most different of any other dogs who have owned me. Although it was a while before I warmed up to Jasmine, I must confess she was as loyal and protecting of me as any of the other guys and gals I have shared my abode with. Jasmine was the best security alarm system known to man. Having her was like having my own military fortress.

Skippy, Brandy, Daisy Mae, Daphne, Dexter, and Jasmine have all honored me. and In turn, I have loved them with everything that makes Dennis L. Page me. While friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and relatives have all disappointed and let me down, I have never had that happen with any of my dogs. If souls do move on to another life when this one has ended, then, by all means, it had better include the dogs that peered into my soul...the one we shared on this earth together.

Dexter helping me with yard work.
Dexter helping me with yard work. | Source

They Have All Left Me

Sadness has fallen upon this house with the passing of Daphne the Westie and her step-sister Jasmine the chihuahua. Dexter, who was 16 years old, deaf and blind, held on until the end of September of this year. Even with his blindness, Dexter had an innate ability to know where I was because that is where he was too. Prior to Dexter's passing, I couldn't imagine the emptiness of a house without the love and loyalty of a dog by my side. However, today I know what that feeling is.

Written by Dennis L. Page

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Comments 39 comments

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 4 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Wonderful hub, Pagesvoice! I won't go into the details of how I met my dog, Clifford (a Queensland Heeler, known as a fairly unfriendly breed), but Clifford is so devoted to me, and ONLY me, that it's truly uncanny. He 'protects' me from everyone, including family members! He 'chose' me in a sense, I had nothing to say about it. ;)

Thanks for this read!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. After reading your story about going to the police station I think it is a good thing you own Clifford...or does Clifford own you? I know my dogs have taken possession of me. LOL


Picadilly 4 years ago

Mr. D...Your love of animals has embraced your heart as you have embraced each and every pet that has known your home as their own.

What a wonderful man you are to give so much love to each of them.

I loved the emotion of your heart in this piece!!!

me xo


WookieWonderfuls profile image

WookieWonderfuls 4 years ago from London, UK

My partner and I had a Yorkshire terrier (known as yapping ankle biters) he was yappy but he loved his mummies. He was so mischievous but couldn't help but laugh. He was never far from me, snuck into bed, followed me to the toilet and just sat next to me and he was always so excited. He gave us a huge heart :) still miss widget now he was unique to say the least.


Kieran Gracie 4 years ago

I grew up with first a Scotty then lots of Westies (my mother bred them on our farm in Ireland). The Scotty had a circumference that was the same as her length, but also had a superb temperament that meant she never, ever, snarled or showed the slightest anger at anything that we children did to her. The Westies started off with a puppy as an 8th birthday present for me, but she always was my mother's pet. They were inseparable. Even when my mother was driving Popski would lie across the back of her seat in the car.

Why Popski? She was a thoroughbred, with the grand title of White Heather of Carrigmore but, on that same 8th birthday, I was also given a book called 'Sam and the Popski Dog' about - you guessed it - a Scotty (Sam) and a Westie. So she was The Popski Dog from then on.

All of her pups found good homes but not all was smoothness and light. One litter of two bitches never could get on with each other and one pup was a Grade A Pain In The A*** with everyone except my mother. Even years later, when we tried to re-unite these two, they went at it hammer and tongs!

Your hub has brought back many happy memories for me - thank you!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thanks Ms. P. The connection between humans and dogs is so unique. It is a love I am blessed to have experienced and continue to feel and share every day. I don't understand the psyche of people who don't like animals. Personally, I think if folks don't like or appreciate the presence of animals then it is they who are exhibiting major character flaws.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thank you for reading and sharing your story about your Yorkie. My sister in law has had Yorkies and they are a bouncy, yappy, little package of energy. They command a person's attention and that certainly makes them a fun breed to be around.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Kieran...Thank you for taking the time to read my story and leave a detailed reply...much appreciated. I've seen a Scotty with a body description you mentioned. As big as it was a woman would peddle it around in the front bread basket of her bike.

Interesting to note your exposure to Westies, but even more surprising to me was the problems the one litter had. When I rescued Dexter (he was only 6 months) he was a sad piece of a cotton ball, sitting in the corner of a huge wooden box, with head hung low. I picked the little guy up, put him on my lap and told him he was going to have the best life he could hope for. 11 1/2 years later and we have both gotten more out of each other than we expected. I just love that boy!


Terri 4 years ago

You did it again Dennis. I love reading your writings.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

D...Your style of writing and topics chosen often leaves me in tears! My soul-puppy, Tiger is going on 13, also came from the humane society, and totally and completely owns me! Your connection with animals says much about your heart and soul - and - it's ALL good! People who love animals such as you and i and pric? I don't believe we are capable of harming any living thing..unless our loved ones are threatened - and then all bets are off! I wish i could have more than one animal at a time, but - i would feel guilt giving one attention and not the other...etc...forever...LOL up, away, and awesome, my friend! (missme?)


Jessica 4 years ago

Love it! Animals are so special and their love is as strong as any. I had a cat growing up, Mousey, who was just so dear to me. She lived to be 20 years old! We had to put her down when I was 25 (we got her when I was 5) because she had feline cancer. Was so hard! I still think about her even though it has been almost 10 years. Great hub!


gmaoli profile image

gmaoli 4 years ago from South Carolina

I've always loved dogs. Our family would get dogs from time to time, but the first real dog I had was a golden retriever named Hero. My dad gave him to me as a gift when I was going to school certification program. I raised him and cared for him since he was pup and unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly almost two years ago. He was only 6 years old. You mentioned that some of the dogs you saw in the shelter were so energetic to find a home as if they were saying that they would be the owner's "soul mate." I felt that Hero and I had that connection. He loved to swim too and whenever he got out of the pool while I was in it, he would walk up behind me and place his head for a few minutes on one of my shoulders. He was always a people dog and was friendly with everyone, but he never did that with anyone else but me. It was as if he did all he could to prove how much he loved me and I felt the same about him.

Your hub really hit the nail on the head. The love and loyalty of a dog is unbreakable and they will give you a hard time about spending time with them no matter what it is you decide to do. I really appreciate you sharing this article and remind me of how much Hero and I really meant to each other.

Thank you pagesvoice.


clairemy profile image

clairemy 4 years ago

Lovely hub, and yes dogs do own us!

I love all breeds but particularly Boxers. But my first love is Horses of every type. Animals give us so much, and rescued ones give their all.


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 4 years ago from Close to Heaven

Beautiful hub! I have always loved dogs. The photos of your dogs are extremely adorable. Voted way up and shared.


Gemini Fox profile image

Gemini Fox 4 years ago

Aaaawwwww, what a sweet hub! Have never understood why humans think themselves so superior to animals when it is so obvious that they're not!


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I am currently owned by an Old English Sheepdog, Miracle. her predecessor, Buster (another Old English Sheepdog) stills owns me even though he passed away five years ago. There is a spiritual connection that you develop with animals that seems so pure and everlasting. Great hub! Voted Up and Beautiful.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

What a beautiful Hub. I am a dog lover for all of my life and still am. I have a miniature schnauzer who owns me. I wrote a Hub about how she has trained me! I love your dogs. The Westie reminds me of my Baby. You are a good man with a good heart, that is obvious. I'm so glad I met you here in Hubland. Goodnight.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Hello Dennis, your dog story is heart warming. I have been fortunate to have a few such friends in my life, and it is true, the love is unconditional. Thank you for sharing your pack. They look like good company. Voted up. Regards, snakeslane


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Dennis. What a wonderfully written, heart warming Hub. I'm with you, a dog lover and our 10 year old ShihTzu is like a child to us. You are right in that when humans fail us we can always rely on our four legged friends to lift us up. They are as loyal and unconditionally loving as any creature on earth. Beautiful Hub, Well done. Voting up and sharing.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

My dogs and my horses understand me always... or maybe they just pretend. But, I prefer their company to most peoples. :) I thank god for them every day!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I just came back to reread this Hub. I loved it before and I still love it. There is so much disagreement among people on how to treat and train dogs. I don't agree with the "heavy handed" method. I believe in kindness and love as you do. I'd like to share this Hub, and I'd like to link it to my Hub about why do we have pets? May I? Thanking you in advance. Mary615


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Mary615 it would be my honor for you to share and link this hub. Right now I have one of my little angels sleeping in her bed and my male Westie is out on the patio endlessly seeking that ever elusive chipmunk. I do believe that in many instances dogs give people a reason to keep moving forward in their lives. When they look into our eyes it is a sincerity not felt by any other creature...humans included.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Such a nice hub. Love your dogs. My cat expects me to comb him everyday. Now our dog has decided he wants the attention, he pushs the cat over and lays his head on my lap so I can comb his ears. They are both so funny but they do love each other. Voted Up on your hub.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thanks for the comment moonlake. I bought my girl and boy a special $30.00 brush and the two of them vie for attention when I brush one. It is so funny how they take their butts and wiggle them into the other dog as if to say, "Okay, you had your turn, now it's my turn."


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

Thank you for sharing the story of the dogs you have adopted and loved. I too adopted a dog and the process can be heart-wrenching, as you want to take them all home! Binky is my little Maltese boy, and he has been a joy to our home!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Very wonderful hub! You touched my heart when I read this hub. My dog owns me. I miss my cavalier king charles, Angus. Every time I see a dog, I´m very emotional. Sometimes, I even called my husband, son, sister or whoever near me, with the name of my dog. I know, Angus miss me as well as he was very sad and did not like to eat for the first 3 days I left for Germany. He is in the Philippines now waiting for my coming back in a few weeks. Thanks God, he is very well taken care of my nephew, who is Angus 3rd "boss" now.

Thank you for sharing this hub. Have a great day!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

A beautiful heart warming hub, I do enjoy your style of writing - I am a big dog lover, although I no longer have a dog as mine passed away a few years ago and I cannot bring myself to have another.

A big vote up and best wishes Lesley


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Aren't dogs positively amazing?? They're all about GENUINE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@fpherj48 - Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I can not imagine a life without my four legged friends. A dog's honesty, trust and loyalty lasts a lifetime. How many people can we make the same comment about?


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

I'm glad to find you, pagesvoice (through a forum), and will begin reading your hubs. I began with this one because I came to know the unconditional love of a dog late in life (age 61) after never having a pet. She's brought so much joy into my life and never disappointed me, as have many people.

I enjoyed this hub and your writing style, so will be reading more.

Voted Up++++

Jaye


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Hello, pagesvoice, welcome to the Community Page on FB! I must also say that I'm glad to connect with you as I also have had 2 west highland terriers. The one I have now is very much like Daphne and Dexter. Like you, I also have a passion for animals!! Thanks for sharing this, and will share across too.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Visiting again! Simply adorable...and the dog, unlike the human, loves unquestioningly without judging. Thanks for sharing!


pinto2011 profile image

pinto2011 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Hi Dannis! You have both strung and woven the emotion cord very well. We all know that horse and dog are two best friend of human life but due to space constraints we are cornered to live with only one that is dog and they never let us down. Very well written hub.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 3 years ago from australia

I agree, agree, agree, The dogs in my life have been constant, faithful, humorous, my best friends. I am honoured to have had them in my life. I miss them all. Now I have Nell, my beautiful rescue dog, she's calm, happy, and owns our home. Thank you for this - voting up and beautiful.


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Oh, Dennis, I love this! Your pets are very lucky to be blessed with such a caregiver. I worked at a vet's for 5 years and loved being with the animals. It had its hard days as well, as you can imagine. My house is filled with pets: 1 black lab, 2 cats, 2 parrots, 1 turtle and fish. I have even featured my lab in my latest short story that I'm current writing (Beneath The Guise) and his personality finds itself in the story. And yes, they do love us unconditionally, don't they? Your pictures of them are beautiful!

Best wishes

Kim


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@klidstone1970 - I tip my proverbial hat to any and all who can work in a vet's office. It takes a special person to work in that environment. You certainly do have your own menagerie. There is so much we don't know about a dog's senses. They have a keen awareness of their surroundings, along with the moods and illnesses of their owners. I often say that there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. I follow that comment up with, "Animals walk on 2 legs and not 4." Thanks again, for stopping by and commenting.


pamela boucher 2 years ago

this is so precious as can be loved it.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

you got cute pups, i used to have a litter of pups but gave them away


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 20 months ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thank you for reading and commenting. I don't know if I could give away an entire litter of puppies. Knowing my wife, she would most likely keep at least one.

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