We Don’t Deserve Dogs

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“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

Dogs are the greatest. I love dogs and couldn’t imagine life without my pupper. It’s not always been this way. My love for canines is relatively new. In fact, just a few short years ago I was adamantly against owning a dog. How my love for canines came about is quite the story. For years, I resisted the constant pressure from my wife and son to get a dog, both of whom share a natural-born affinity for all animals. However, I knew puppies, although adorable, came with a myriad of responsibilities, most of which I figured would eventually fall under my umbrella of authority. As my son grew older, my attempts to resist his pleading became increasingly difficult. The kid didn’t play fair, constantly recruiting my wife for support, whom he knew was on his side by an overwhelming margin. This turned into a daily onslaught of pressure that became harder and harder for me to resist. As a father and a husband, your number one priority is the safety, happiness and well-being of your family. I wanted them to be happy, and I knew welcoming a furry member to the family would bring them unspeakable joy. It was time. But man, sharing my house with a dog was not something I wanted. I was 100 percent against the idea of having a filthy, stinky mutt running around the house. They wanted a dog, I didn’t want a dog, so we compromised and got a dog. Reluctantly, I gave in and doing so completely changed my life.

After searching for a few weeks, we found a puppy. The breed was a whippet. They’re basically a compact version a greyhound. Priority one on my son’s Christmas wish list that year, our pup magically arrived on Christmas morning, straight from the North Pole. Since our pupper was a whippet, the obvious and only name we could choose was Devo, (those over 30 will get the reference). As soon as that little ball of fur entered our home, something crazy happened. My hardened heart turned into mush, my reluctance turned into an open-armed welcome. I fell in love. Devo quickly adapted and made himself right at home. It was weird. It was like he had always belonged here, with us. What I thought would be a seemingly infinite chore quickly turned into an irreplaceable companion. Three years later, he’s the undisputed king of the household. For real, I’ve never seen an animal spoiled as much as this dog.

Devo is my son’s best friend and playmate. He loves to join me on my daily runs and always welcomes me home with enthusiasm and a wagging tail. However, Devo’s favorite person is my wife, he’s absolutely smitten with her. He is her shadow, the textbook Velcro dog. Which is great, because now she can’t hide. Find Devo, find wife.

Since Devo came into our lives, I’ve done a complete 180. Becoming a dog owner has taught me valuable lessons. I’ve realized that dogs are the kindest, most genuine creatures on earth. Totally dedicated to their humans, the loyalty of a dog is unrivaled. Dogs live purely in the moment. Dogs are totally obliging, they don’t rationalize or hold grudges. Dogs are ride or die, ready to party at any moment. They don’t need a reason, just emphasize a bit of upward inflection in any statement and they go from 0 to 100, a whirlwind of instant excitement. Humans should aspire to be just like dogs. Dogs require commitment and love, but if you love them they will return the love tenfold.

Devo was a gift from God that was given to me at a critical time in my life. Not long after we adopted Devo, a series of events in my professional life caused my ever-present anxiety to spiral out of control (I’ll share more about this in a future article). It was in this time of turmoil and uncertainty where I learned that there are very few things in this world that are as comforting and reassuring as the silent companionship of a dog.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, Devo was a missing piece to our family. This crazy dog has taught me so many things about life. Every person deserves a dog. If you’re on the fence about dog ownership, go ahead and take the plunge. You’ll be glad you did.

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