- Pets and Animals»
- Animal Care & Safety
On Loving Dogs and Cats
When I was young I would adopt homeless kitties that would
roam around our neighborhood looking for food. My parents did not want us to
keep pets, so I would hide them in a corner of the garage and take them a can
of tuna or some milk which would keep them coming back to visit. Little did I know at
that time the time and effort it took to really care for a cat or dog.Later I was able to keep a dog at my grandfather's farm and would visit her often. She got run over which was a sad day for me. Her name was Sandy.
Just this month my grandchildren called and said in their sweet voices, Grandma why can’t we keep a dog at our house. You see they live in our home in another state, and we are happy to be helping them out at this difficult economic time. But then, dogs can be a mess, be noisy, get sick, need medicine and shots, and they need to be fed. Their parents are struggling as it is just to make ends meet. It is hard to explain all that to a small child, because all they see is the fun in it.
When I mentioned that they would have to buy food for the dog, they said they would share their food with the dog. There are many good reasons to lets your children have pets. They are probably much more sharing with them than with their siblings. They can also learn, as my little granddaughter to have responsibility for making sure the little dog is warm enough or has enough water and food.
I was surprised when my daughter and her husband bought a dog for their 5-year-old daughter. They got her a miniature schnauzer and she is a very cutefriskydog. They pamper the dog taking her for shots, getting her nails trimmed, getting her groomed and even buying her an adorable little pink coat for wintertime. They give her special dog food on Sunday too. It was a moment of weakness because they couldn’t bear their daughters pleading pretty brown eyes, and of course she is such a good little girl. But the frisky little dog can take over the whole house unless you give her boundaries. It does take a lot of effort to train a new dog. Who cleans up after her? Mommy and Daddy. But their little girl loves her so much. Good they have their own home for her to stay in.
I have to share the funny story of my husband’s experiences with dogs. He would rather eat them, because where he is from, they do that. He was once bitten by a mean dog and still has a scar on his calf to prove it. So, when our children were young, they put on the same pleading big eyed face that our granddaughter gave her parents when they saw a new litter of puppies out in the village. Daddy, can’t we just have one? With his great experience with a dog, of course he told them no. But that didn’t dissuade them from persisting. Finally he said yes ifhe could pick out the dog. He chose the most scrawny, skinny little puppy thinking that it probably would not survive, which for him would be an answer to his prayer.
The children were ecstatic. They did not care about the condition of the dog. They loved him just the same. And they took very good care of the dog. At the time we lived in a home with a large fenced yard which was perfect for a dog. It never went inside the house. My husband’s mother lived with us, and she would take the puppy and coat it with coconut milk and clean it up every week. She would take it out into the ocean and give it a wash also. The salt water helped if there were any sores. The scrawny skinny little puppy turned into a beautiful shiny big black dog. The children enjoyed having him around, but my husband would kick him whenever he came close, so he became quite vicious towards anyone that looked like my husband. He was great with the kids and myself.
Days went by and all was well until one day when the dog was about a year old, he disappeared. The children feared the worse, that he had become someone’s dinner. Especially the guys who played tennis in our tennis court, because if the ball would go over and one of them tried to get the ball, Puppy (his real name) would chase them and scare them pretty bad. The kids were devastated and started to cry. They even mentioned Puppy in their prayers hoping he would return to them. It was a sad affair. Of course their father was not so sad about the dog being gone, but when he saw them praying for him, his heart started to change. Love can do strange things, even to a dog-hating man. He soon found himself praying for Puppy to come back so his children would not be so sad.
So one day, here came puppy, limping back and wounded. It appeared that he had gotten in the middle of a squabble, probably over some female dog. Lucky he found his way home instead of into the umu (underground oven). The children were so delighted to have their puppy back. He continued to chase after the tennis players and missionaries that would come to our home, but my husband had had a change of heart and stopped kicking him. Puppy would still duck whenever he tried to pet him, but warmed up a little bit to him. You can make your own theme to this true story, but to me it was that you can learn to love through service. The end.
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