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TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE A DOG

For all the Pet Likers and Haters

By Nonita Mole

I never had a dog of my own. I used to think that they are scary and stinky . My dad used to have a dog whose names were Didith, and then Astro, but I have not been friendly with them. In my hometown back in the Philippines, dogs usually have their own spot outside the house and they never stayed inside the house. When I migrated to Canada, I observed that most Canadian families have a dog as part of their family. They care for them like a family member. Out of curiosity, I asked my co-worker why she was spending too much for her dog. She responded that her expenses was nothing as compared to what her dog can do for her. She said , her dog is a bundle of joy and a stress reliever.

 

Some of them are even thinking of owning a dog in their senior years, as kids would leave them one day when they grow older and have a family of their own , but dogs will stick with them as long as they’re living.

 

So I say YES to having a dog for the following reasons, not to convince anyone that I’m doing the right decision, but to say what the difference it makes for having one versus not having one :

ToHaveOrNotToHaveADog

TO UNDERSTAND WHERE MY FEAR IS COMING FROM. Before, whenever I see a dog approaching, I will try to avoid that direction. Whenever I am visiting families and friends with dogs, oftentimes I will request the dog to be kept. Sometimes, I say I have allergies , though I’m not sure if I really do have. I was just saying so that I will not offend the owner or tell them the real reason that I’m just scared. The first time SHAKE came to our house, he jumped out of the box and he was so excited. He was an 8 week- Jack Russel Terrier. I have to check his veterinary’s record to ensure he is healthy and had vaccination and deworming. When I started holding him, he was SHAKING. At the same time, I was SHAKING too. I felt his body is fragile and I was trying to avoid his licking. It took time before I was able to stabilize him. His SHAKING stopped and so was mine as well. Then he laid down in my arms. It was his first night, and I felt the need to make him feel safe. So I stayed for a while, on his nice warm comforter, and cuddled him till he fell asleep.

 

TO UNDERSTAND THE HAPPINESS AND EXCITEMENT THEY BRING TO PEOPLE. Shake gave me one reason to be excited going home , as I know he is also excited when he sees me home. My husband usually works late. Now someone is always waiting for me. He was always active, happy and with lots of energy. I sometimes wish I was like him every moment.

TO FEEL PROTECTED. After I have experienced a house break-in 2 years ago, it was hard for me to stay alone in the house. When Shake came, I have never felt alone. He was a very good WATCH COMPANION.

TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT DOGS’ PERSONALITY AND COMPANIONSHIP. Shake is like a big puzzle to me.... makes me think... makes me wonder... there were written characteristics about their breeds but I know each one is unique, and that I want to understand more. He is sometimes naughty, crazy, funny and entertaining. Either way, he makes me smile.

TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT GIVING AND LOVING. After a stressful day , Shake looks at me and cuddles with me , without judging what I’ve done . It’s an instant stress reliever. I didn’t have to explain things. I’m receiving just pure love and understanding. It’s unconditional.

TO HAVE A DOG is a lot of work. There is more cleaning to be done. There will be additional expenses for pet food and accessories, cleaning supplies, disinfectants and fragrance. More work keep me more pre-occupied. My creativity increases. There is always something to do and to discuss. Before it was always my husband and I, now it was my husband , Shake and I. And that makes our house more of a HOME.

Do I need to say more?! Well, I’m not an expert pet owner. I’m just starting to learn . And I don’t even know if I deserve taking care of such a beautiful puppy, with a pure heart and a gentle spirit. All I know is I’m patient enough to get to know and understand him and I have the heart to listen to his needs. I guess that’s all I need for now.