Oh, For the Love of Dog!
A long stretch of green grass irrigated with recycled water is surrounded by chain-link fence dividers with double gates that read "Small Dogs", where boisterous chi-wieners ambush toy Schnauzers and chase each other in the tall (up to their knees) grass.
A parking lot away from all the tiny yelping, some dignified Great Danes scoff at naïve Golden Retriever pups in an area designated as "Big Dogs".
Welcome to your local Dog Park!
On each side of the "divide", a circle of white plastic chairs in the shade hosts a chatty group of "chillaxed" dog owners catching up on their lives, engrossed in conversation and oblivious to what brought them here in the first place... oblivious to even picking up after their pets at times.
Around the corner from the dog park, a local shelter is hosting a "Seniors for Seniors" free pet adoption event, and there is not a dry eye in the checkout line in the shelter's lobby where a senior Pitt-bull goes home with her new owners.
A short ride away, a local pet shop owner carefully hands over to a young child their new precious furry friend with a list of pet care instructions.
A few miles down from the shop, some lucky dogs dig giant holes in the sand and retrieve balls from the crazy waves at their local beach.
These are some very lucky animals and their (luckier) humans!
And what about herding dogs, hunting dogs, K9 officer dogs, airport security dogs, therapy dogs, war hero bomb-sniffing dogs, alpine rescue dogs? They are as unconditionally loving as all the dogs!
The contexts and settings where dogs are found in our daily lives seem to be endless.
We humans can't imagine our lives without dogs. We are blessed to have their companionship, love, respect, service, and dedication!
What would we do without them?
In their short yet meaningful time on earth, they teach us humans about love and loss.
Just as pet owners grieve the death of their pets, so do the pets grieve the loss of their humans. The recently departed Queen Elizabeth II, a lifelong animal lover, left many grieving dogs and horses behind, to be cared for by the royal family.
This post does not intend to leave out cat lovers, pig lovers, horse lovers, reptile lovers, bird lovers, guinea pig lovers, cow lovers - any animal lovers by any means. It's all-inclusive!
In fact, I welcome your comments regarding your own animals, your favorite animals, and what this relationship has meant for you.
There is a myriad of mental health and physical health benefits that are bestowed on us just by our proximity to our beloved animals. Their companionship often is more meaningful than human company, especially in cases of relationships gone sour or toxic, as dogs defend us with their own lives and never turn their backs on us in betrayal.
Petting a dog is known to lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels.
Caring for a dog brings a new meaning to our life. Nonverbal cues from our dogs bespeak volumes of unconditional love. Coming home to our dogs and cats at night may be of special significance to many of us who are greeted with a wagging tail and a happy bark (a meow, etc, etc.)
It breaks our hearts to lose them. We are sometimes inconsolable when it happens, and the grief is so vast! Please reach out to me if you are in need of support with this.
With this post, I honor and salute all the loving and responsible animal owners who appreciate and seek to learn the precious language of animal love or who support animal welfare in any way.