Why We Have The Dog

Why We Have The Dog

by Gina Valley

Our dog, Douglas, passed away quite suddenly this past week.  Our family is heart-broken.

Like all dogs, he was a furry bundle of trouble and work and fun.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Why We Have The Dog PetsIf you don’t have a dog, it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to go through all that effort just to hang out with someone that is loud and messy and, more often than not, smelly.

Yet, our family always has a dog family member.  Sometimes, as many as 3. Currently, we have 2 yearling lab pups that drive us crazy and keep us laughing all day.

So, considering all the work and that we will face the sadness of the end of their life as they age, why we always have a dog?

I’m glad you asked.

Why we have a dog:

Not because one wag of his tail-of-death clears everything off of the coffee table in one fail swoosh, sending books, drinks, and small children flying in all directions, but because a nudge from a furry head can bring a smile to the worst day.

Not because he figured out how to suck all the milk out of the baby’s bottle, but because babies need someone to pull up on when they’re learning to walk and to be a soft landing place when they fall and to eat all of the things they throw from their highchair.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Why We Have The Dog PetsNot because he ate a Costco-size bag of chocolate kisses and pooped sparkles for a week, but because toddlers need someone to play catch and tag with who will never quit and to lick their faces when they’ve snuck candy and who loves gooey hugs and sticky fingers.

Not because he barks non-stop at fireworks, but because 5 year olds need someone to keep them safe during thunderstorms.

Not because he climbed onto the kitchen counter and proved  that a cake meant to serve 55 people all afternoon only serves one dog for 2 minutes, but because 7 year olds need someone to snuggle with when they’ve been sent to their room for sassing.

Not because he’s afraid of caterpillars and the clothes dryer, but because 10 year olds need someone to help them be brave at the neighborhood park, and to meet new friends.

Not because he can’t wag his tail evenly, but because 12 year olds need someone who always has time for them when the world is crazy busy around them.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Why We Have The Dog PetsNot because he insists on carrying a 2L soda bottle around with him, but because teenagers need someone to talk to who will listen forever and never interrupt them and never judge them.

Not because he sleeps on the sofa while we’re out, and hops off quickly  when he hears us drive up, but because 15 year olds need someone to sit with them and protect them when that strange noise in the empty house makes them wish they hadn’t insisted they were old enough to stay home alone.

Not because he feels the need to have a loud discussion with our local gang of raccoons every night at 3:50AM, but because no one should have to be alone when they’re up in the middle of the night.

Not because he ate the entire 6 pound box of jerky treats one afternoon and then brought them up for an encore all over the brand new living room rug, but because everyone needs someone who is always happy to see them no matter what time it is, what day it is, or how cranky they were when they left in the morning.

Not because he loves to wake people up who doze off on the sofa by poking them in their eye with his cold, wet nose, and then licking them in the mouth when they open their mouth to holler at him, but because everyone needs someone to take care of them, watch over them, love them completely even if they don’t always understand each other.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Why We Have The Dog PetsAnd, not because he knocked over the Christmas tree and dragged it around the house while we were at midnight services on Christmas Eve, but because everyone needs to take care of someone, to watch over someone, and to love someone completely even if they don’t always understand each other.

It’s been a rough week at the Valley house as we’ve lost one of our dear furry family members.  We’ll never forget Douglas, but I’m glad we have our other goofy dog, Bear and Ziva, to keep us entertained and smiling.

Laughing and crying this week.

-gina

Are you a dog person? Has there been a special pet in your life?  Do your kids have pets? What is it about animals that make them worth the effort and expense to have them in your life? Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Polly Dunn

Sorry for your loss, Gina. I can definitely relate having always had a cat or cat and dog as part of my adult family. Beautifully written.

gina valley

Thank you, Polly! I am so glad you related to my post, and I appreciate your understanding and sympathy. Our pets really do add something amazing to our lives.

Emma

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve been there. 🙁 I think the reason I keep going back to dogs though is because it’s the best feeling in the world when they are so happy to see you. (And dogs don’t have temper tantrums! lol!)

gina valley

Thank you, Emma! I think you are right on target with how wonderful it is to have a dog greet you. There is nothing as wonderful as the welcome they give us!

andi miller

My pup is like a forever 2yr old. She gets in trouble but you just can’t help but love her. She is always happy to see me and that brightens even the worst days. I’m so sorry for your loss. Me and Daisy Rae seems hugs and doggie kisses to you and your family.

gina valley

Thank you for your kind words, Andi! Isn’t it amazing how our dogs are always happy to see us?!?! They are such special creatures. Ours always bring me so much joy. I’m so thankful that, as we are mourning Douglas, that we have our 2 puppies to remind us to smile.

Jennifer Steck

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Our furry friends play such an important part in our lives. I’m not sure I could ever live alone without the joy they bring. Fantastic post!!

gina valley

Thank you so much, Jennifer. I agree with you. I can’t imagine not having a furry family member around. They are such a pain sometimes, but so loving and giving all the time.

Robin Thornton

Sincere condolences.
It’s hard to get people to understand that the price of the invaluable gift of unconditional love, companionship, support, comfort, joy, laughter, lessons about caring for another and much, much more is that the gift has an associated “good until date” of a limited number of years. But the loss of a canine animal companion helps us remember why they are so important to us. I guess it’s a lesson so important that we must learn it over and over.

gina valley

Thank you for your kind words, Robin. We will always miss him and remember him.
I think you are right in that many people do not understand the value of bringing a furry member to one’s family. I suppose it is best that those people not do so.
The reality of knowing a creature for its entire life cycle, from baby to geriatric, is a weighty thing. It teaches so many important lessons. My children have learned so much about patience and respect in caring gently for our dogs as the age. It’s a lesson that teaches them compassion and empathy for life.