In some homes across America there will always be that one family member, who is often times, the most spoiled or the most neglected. This member will always be the most loyal regardless of how they are treated. They ask very little of the family beyond being fed and watered once they receive their yearly or bi-yearly shots, and will many times give up their own life if called on, for the family. The return of the family to the home is always the most exciting part of the day, for them. They worship, usually one member of the family more, unless we are fortunate enough to find that special one, who chooses more than one family member to tag behind.
Some families can love this member to its grave and make sure they know they are special and others can leave them outdoors in the elements totally neglected or in a house where they bring shame on themselves, since they are forgotten, and have no place to relieve themselves except in the filth of the home.
If there is any other place that the extremes of humanity are shown,in such huge numbers in America, between good and bad, than with this family member, I’m not aware of where that exists. The cruelty against them can be so atrocious that it often will raise the ire of the public in a way that no others can. Other times people will be quick to call people,who show their love to this family member as silly or ridiculous,because of the affection they shower on them.
I am talking about the family dog,of course, but cats can receive the same treatment. Cats are less loyal,however, and will often choose two other families in the neighborhood to adopt who will feed them, incase their original family fails their expectations. Unless of course, we keep the cat indoors, at all times, and then they are more than content to run our households.A spoiled dog can also run a home, until or unless, we let them know that there is an alpha male or female living in the home and then they are more than glad to take orders and remain in their order of the wolf pack mentality, that still goes back in their instincts for years and years, before the family dog became domesticated.
It has been awhile since I have updated you on our faithful old companion, so I will update you now. Just to refresh everyone, in March of 2010, we went on a vacation and left him in the Veterinary kennel, where he has always stayed while we have been out-of-town in the past. They do an excellent job, and in the past he has always resigned himself to staying with them.
Whatever the reason, perhaps because we took vacation earlier in the year than usual and threw off his routine or because he was 13 years of age and suffering a little dementia, due to being older, no one knows why for sure. He refused to eat and suffered a nervous break down with our being gone.
We got back home just in the nick of time, to rescue him from his own self-imposed-victimzation. It was touch and go for a while but he made a full and quick recovery.He is a toy cocker spaniel and was purchased to be a companion for me, while I traveled. As is typical, many times,life is what happens while we are busy making plans and my health altered the traveling dog plans.
Despite that though, he has settled in to be both a good traveler when my husband and I take him with us as well as a super house dog. We have not been able to leave home without him for more than a couple of hours since his break down. As a result we have spent trips or vacations in some pretty seedy motel rooms when we travel East.The farther West we go, dogs are accepted as a member of the family, and people look at us strange if we even doubt if they will take dogs in some of the most upscale suites and penthouses.
The fact that our youngest daughter lives in Portland, Oregon, and we plan our longest vacations around seeing her or meeting her elsewhere on the Coast, it has not been too bad of a hinderance to have him with us.We worry of course,especially this year when we met our daughter in Reno and went on to the California Coast and wine Country, if the trip will be too hard on him.
He ended up making the trip better than my husband and I, and came back just as perky as ever. He fits in well with us as he has a little arthritis and is content to take a nap in his chair:)I am pleased to say that he is going on to his 15th year of life and still not suffering old age, beyond his ability to still enjoy life. So that is the long and short of the update of our other family member.
I hope you take out time, even if it is only a few minutes, as most dogs will understand that our time is sometimes limited, to appreciate and praise your other family member, today. Any of us who do own dogs and are able to give them the proper care do know and understand that the little critters return love on a magnanimous level, when we are able to give love.
If you can no longer care for your pet due to financial difficulties or health, then please make certain that you place them with someone who can. I cannot urge enough, the need to give food,water and love to these family members, who ask for so little and give back the best in all of us and more. Have them spayed and neutered and their shots kept updated, and if you cannot afford to, then contact your local humane or animal shelter, as many times they will be able to do it for you, for little or no cost.
Sorry about the public health message, but animal over-population to the point of feral dogs running wild in major cities,as well as, upsetting the balance of nature in rural areas is becoming a problem and will become more than just a nuisance, if we don’t make certain our beloved family members are treated in the way we need to accept is a must, for the animal population, and our Human children’s future safety.