The Joys, and Sorrows, of Being a Dog-Owner

Last Friday I had to make the very difficult decision to put one of my dogs to sleep.  Daisy was old and had been declining for several months, but it was still a shock to us since we had no idea that she had a huge tumor on her liver, until last Friday.  Daisy was one of two basset hounds we rescued 2.5 years ago. Even though she was old when we rescued her and we only had a short 2.5 years with her, I would never trade that time for anything.  She brought us a ton of love and joy.  And, along with that came the huge responsibility of knowing when it was time to let her go.  For anyone who is a pet owner, it is one of the huge sorrows that comes with owning an animal – we often are the ones who decide when it is time to say goodbye.  I don’t think we are ever quite prepared, despite knowing that it is best for them.

In honor of Daisy, I am reposting a blog that I wrote last Fall (original posting date Oct. 26, 2010) about some of the many things I’ve learned from being a dog owner.  Not only have I learned what I wrote in that post from 10-26-10, but Daisy specifically taught me to be patient when dogs start to get older and slower and to always remember that they are here to bring us love and joy, even if it is only for a very short period of time.  For that, and for having been blessed to own Daisy for the past 2.5 years, I am eternally grateful.

REPOST FROM 10-26-10:

I am the very proud owner of two basset hounds who we rescued from Basset Rescue of Old Dominion (BROOD) two years ago.  I am a huge animal lover and choose to surround myself with as many 4-legged creatures as I can fit in my home.  (Currently, that is two cats and two dogs.) What I love most about my animals is how much they teach me about life’s priorities and the importance of relationships.

My boyfriend and I are the most important things in our dogs’ lives and they never shy away from expressing how much they love and appreciate us – their humans.  Without words, they express how much we mean to them; through their presence, their tail wags, their kisses and how they never take their eyes off of us (especially when it is getting close to meal time!)  Some people (who may not be animal lovers) will say that the reason my dogs adore me so much is because I feed them and give them shelter and meet their basic needs of survival.  Although that may be true, I also believe that the reason my dogs express so much love for me is because they intuitively know that having a loving relationship with me does a lot more than guarantee food and shelter – it guarantees reciprocal love back which makes our home life very peaceful and inviting.

I believe these are things that we can easily translate into our work environments.  If we take the time to nourish the relationships with the people we work with and express kindness and appreciation, I think it would make our work lives much more peaceful, inviting and even much more productive.    Don’t you think?

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