This is a very special day for dog lovers and close to my heart. The website National Dog Day lists a number of ways to celebrate this day by helping local humane societies, walking a neighbor’s dog, or pampering your own.
We raised these two darlings from puppies, long before we knew what a puppy mill was. They were such a big part of our family, and when they passed away, it left big holes in our hearts.
The sweet boy on the left is a schnauzer named Baron, our first furkid, and completely daddy’s boy. The gorgeous girl on the right was my forever dog. You know, the one that makes a place in your heart that cannot be filled with any other, the one that you bond with like no other. This is Ginger, a Welsh Terrier.
Next came Tessie, a rescue Welsh Terrier that was only with us for 20 months. She died at the age of 5 from a heart condition undiagnosed during the first three years of her life. Again, a puppy mill story. By now we knew better and made every effort to adopt our furkids from reputable rescue groups.
Sweet Tessie came to us frightened of everything, but gradually came to know that life could be fun, and running free was a delight!
After Tessie, we adopted our current Welsh Terrier, Psychodog. She is OCD, has traits of autism and ADD, and for years was on Prozac. I told the vet it was going to be her or me. She has never been the cuddly dog that Ginger was, she is her own dog.
She is older now, and takes medication for seizures. She is slowing down and sleeps a lot more, but still enjoys walkies. She is almost 14 years old now, a little deaf, and doesn’t see quite as good. She does enjoy being a bit of a fashionista. This black sweater with the faux fur collar is her favorite winter look. Here she is curled up in her favorite sleeping spot with her blanket that she loves to dig around.
Furkids add so much to our lives. They love us no matter what. They wake up happy, wagging a tail just to be near us. They are there when we need a lift, to lick our faces and make us smile. Their unfailing loyalty and unconditional admiration is a wondrous thing, spreading joy wherever they go. If only our own lives could be so simple and uncomplicated!!
We can learn a lot from dogs. Some years ago, I found this poem in a column by Ann Landers, and I still find it to be profound wisdom. I am not certain, but it may have been published in a Lake Wobegon book. I have been unable to find the original author to give credit.
“If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your problems,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when something goes wrong through no fault of your own and those you love take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, or politics,
Then, my friends, you are almost as good as your dog.”
Isn’t she cute in her holiday sweater?
If you are thinking of adding a furkid to your family, please consider rescuing a forever friend from the local shelter, breed rescue or humane society. You can save a life today, and the rewards will be worth it. If you cannot have a dog (or another dog) consider volunteering at a local shelter. They always need help to clean cages, walk the dogs and just provide much appreciated ear scratches and tummy rubs. You can donate food or towels, toys or just cash, there is always a need. If that isn’t possible for you, please consider donating unused and unwanted items to a Humane Society Thrift store. Every little bit helps for those who cannot speak for themselves.
How will you celebrate National Dog Day?