Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make the Most of Your Time with Your Dog
I was talking with a friend today and she mentioned how she has an agreement with her dog that her dog will live to be 24 years old. She asked how I could have a preference for bigger dogs which typically have a shortened life span. I told her we never know what’s going to happen in life. One minute everything’s fine, the next minute, not. One of my neighbors, a relatively young guy, was attending a conference in Haiti when the earthquake struck. He was at his hotel, which collapsed. He’s been missing since then. He has a wife and a child, and I’m sure they never expected this sort of outcome when he boarded that plane to Haiti. I’m sure they fully expected to grow old together.

Then, I reminded my friend about me and my husband – we have a large age difference. When we got together, we decided then and there to make the most of every day, because of our age difference, we didn’t know how much time we would have together. We figured if we had 5 years that would be great – we would take it and enjoy it. We’re lucky though because it’s now been 22 years and counting, and we still treasure the time we have together.

It’s the same with my dogs. A dog comes into our life as either a cute puppy or an adult, possibly a rescue. From the size or breed we have an idea of how long our dog should theoretically live. But that means nothing. Anything can happen. From getting hit by a car to cancer, the beloved dog we fully expect to have in our lives for18 years may die at five.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s my belief that we should treasure the time we have with our dogs because we just don’t know. Too often for example, we come home from work stressed and we don’t give our dogs the attention they crave after spending the day without us. Or we get busy with our lives and forget. There are many reasons.

But today, just for a moment, remember why you brought that special doggie soul into your life. Give them the attention they deserve. Take time to play, go for a walk, or watch a movie with your dog lying beside you on the couch. You get the idea – spend quality time with your dog. I think you’ll also find you become less stressed when you do.

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