Woman’s Best Friend (and I don’t mean chocolate, this time)

April 20, 2010 at 7:36 am | Posted in Family Ties | 6 Comments
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I used to take the big yellow bus when I was in middle school.  The bus driver was a cool, quiet black man named Donald, and the bus assistant was this old, cranky woman named Marge.  Clearly, she got abused on the bus.  The bus stopped right in front of my house, but I never took it from there. There was a stop down the block, an earlier one, that I went to because there were two golden retrievers, neighbors, that were always tied up on their lawns.  Thus began my love affair with dogs.

I didn’t get my first dog until I was 24.  I was still living at home at the time and my father was going through some mid-life “changes” if you will.  Instead of buying a shiny new red corvette, he decided it was about time we get a dog.

We decided on a yellow English Labrador retriever, male.  My boyfriend at the time had a black lab that I was smitten with, which drove this decision (not to mention that labs are obviously the sweetest).  It took three tries for our breeder to get it right, and even when he finally brought us our pup, he grew to look a bit different than an English lab.  His build and work ethic have led us to believe he is an American lab.  We of course love him just the same.

Our dog would soon move out with me and visit his “grandparents” on the weekend.  This dog has truly gone through every up and down in my life, and there’s been a lot of them over the past four years.  He was there every night I cried when breaking up with my college boyfriend, he was there when I was bitten by another dog, he was there when I slipped on black ice and fell on my head.  No matter the worry, he has been there to make me smile every day, no matter how much I may yell at him for barking, or getting into the garbage.

You really don’t know the love a dog can give you until you have one.  I have a few friends who get this, and the people who don’t, don’t care.  To the ones who don’t care, you’ll never know what you are missing.

People don’t really change, but the situations they are put in and the decisions they make may make you change your opinion of them.  Time changes things for people.  But for dogs, life is not lived on a clock.  Life is lived by enjoying the company of loved ones everyday, by chewing on a bone or playing fetch with their owner, by going for a walk or cuddling.  Dogs show unconditional love to those lucky enough to share their lives with one.

Through all the hard times, through the sacrifices you make to your lifestyle to include a dog, it’s all worth it.  A dog will always have your back.


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  1. I agree, dogs are great friends, and yes, labs are the sweetest!

  2. I never grew up with a dog, and I always wanted one! My family were cat people. I finally moved in with my boyfriend who had one…and it was really hard getting use to a full grown dog that already had been trained very specifically (or not at all…). She use to get jealous and chew up my make up and smear it all over my bed, pee on my clothes, sit in between me and my boyfriend… but as the years passed we grew a tight bond.

    When she passed away, it was devestating. I didnt think I could feel so much pain for a pet.

    We recouped, and added a new puppy (german shepard mix) to our family. And puppies.are.hard!! Almost 4 years later, she has developed quite a personality. She has caused so much trouble and chaos she has brought me to the brink of insanity and back…multiple times. But I love her.

    And dogs really do just live for the moment, and there is nothing in the world that is more excited to see you when you come home, then your dog….even if she did just eat the trash and spread it all over the living room…

  3. Oh my god I remember those two golden retrievers! I remember burning the back of my leg on a very very small BBQ grill. I don’t know why they had in their driveway? Wow forgot all about that!

    You’re right though. Life is different with dogs. I have two and they have helped me through some stuff that I thought I’d never get through. It’s a shame that some people look at dogs as ,”Oh they’re just animals.” They really do miss out!

    My daughter is in love with my two. I have a maltese and a poodle. No matter how cranky she is, it all changes as soon as she sees one of the dogs.

    Good Blog Dana! You have amazing talent!

    • aw, thanks Chrissy! I’m certainly enjoying myself writing it!

  4. now i miss all of my dogs : ( great blog!

    • aww, thanks li. I was just missing you! So happy you are reading!

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