Please be prepared

One of my favourite sounds is the thump of my golden retriever’s tail as he slaps it on the floor during a belly rub. One of my favourite sights is my golden retriever waiting for me when I arrive home with his tail and whole back end wagging in delight. One of my favourite daily activities is being greeted by my golden retriever … running between my legs and jumping around like a wild man, a wonderful wild man. And one of my favourite gifts is that brought to me by my golden retriever…sometimes a sock, maybe his chew toy, yes even the items he lovingly retrieves from the laundry basket. They are just for me, dog drool and all.

And so having done last week’s story about the South Dundas Animal shelter that deals with discarded animals, many of whom at one time probably did the same things for someone they loved and trusted and looked to, to take care of them, I have had a hard time thinking about these unwanted animals.

For anyone who is thinking of becoming a first-time dog owner, please think it over carefully, and please make sure you are absolutely ready for all the responsibility, work, time commitment and expense that comes with owning and loving a dog.

Please be prepared for medical costs and the costs of food and supplies; please be prepared to provide your guy/gal with the exercise and attention that will be needed; please be prepared to work through the puppy stage, the chewing, the barking, the romping; please be prepared to live with hair, everywhere; please be prepared to deal with floors made dirty by wet paws; please be prepared to deal with brown pee spots on your beautiful green lawn and holes freshly dug in your flower beds; please be prepared to have a vehicle decorated with hair on the seats and drool marks on the windows; please be prepared to have play toys laying around the house; please be prepared to deal with health issues that come up and with the fact that your dog will age and pass on before you; and please, please be prepared to deal with this as a loving, kind, humane owner that your best friend knows you to be.

And if you are prepared for all of the above and much, much more, and you decide to let a wonderful new friend into your life then please be prepared to be loved unconditionally with tail wags and big licks and much, much more.     BMc


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