|Rally - our adopted Black Beauty Labrador|
I was against having a pet from the beginning. I knew from the get-go that I would bear the brunt of taking care of the dog. No matter how much your kids plead with you that they will walk the dog, feed the dog and play with the dog it never happens. At least not entirely. I have to admit that as they have gotten older they have taken on a great deal of the responsibility.
We worked hard training Koa. We have had her from the moment she was weaned at 8 weeks. We basically integrated her into our way of life and she's been part of our family. She is well mannered, waits to gobble her food until she is given the command "go" otherwise she would gulp it in 2 seconds. We taught Koa not to get on our furniture, to patiently wait at the front door when someone rang the door bell, and not to jump on anyone. And she doesn't lick. Not much anyway.
All of that would soon change when Rally was introduced to our family. Not that Rally undid what we taught Koa. She is still mellow and doesn't jump on people or have bad manners. But now she gets riled up when Rally barks at everything that passes by our front door and now Koa thinks about food as much as Rally. She suddenly is on our furniture now too. What's with that (Doug!)
We adopted Rally when his owner passed away from melanoma. Rally was his faithful companion. When Kevin's mom came to our home 2 years ago it was with a heavy heart that she relinquished Rally to us. But they lived 2000 miles away and California was Rally's home. We warmly took Rally in and had to learn his habits and he had to learn ours.
|Koa, our 8 year old Golden Retriever|
Most of all I want to say that as a former pet avoider, I have done a 180. I fully see the incredible bond that a warm furry pet has in the lives of my girls. When they have a bad day they go to our two dogs first. Their unconditional love is all they need to feel better. Our dogs protect my girls and sleep in their room and keep them company when they do homework.
I once thought I had to bear the brunt of the work taking care of two dogs. And while I do bear the brunt in the morning my girls take charge of their dogs in the afternoon. They feed and walk them daily. And they give them monthly baths and dispense their monthly medicine. Having pets have taught my girls responsibility and what it is to have unconditional, complete, big-eyed love.