For the Love of Dogs

I have always been a dog person. Whether it is by nature or by nurture is hard to tell. I was born into a family that already had dogs — Dobermans. When I was a toddler, Mace and Lady had puppies, and we all crawled around together.

Over the course of my four decades of life so far, I have had Dobermans, a Miniature Schnauzer, Shepherd mixes, a Miniature Pinscher, a Blue Heeler, Boston Terriers, and a wire-haired mutt of a terrier. Most of them have been rescues, but some of them have been purchased from breeders.

Our current pack members, Ripley and Beans

What would we do without our pets, and, specifically, our dogs? Dogs have a way of connecting with us that most other animals just can’t seem to match.

My friend Jay recently said that some dogs are just dogs, and some dogs are humans in dog suits. I agree with him completely. I’ve had at least two humans in dog suits: Piper and Beans. Dogs such as they have a knack for knowing when their people need extra support.

Last week, I picked up an ear infection and a sinus infection either from work or from one of the little Petri dishes with whom I live. Needless to say, I’m not feeling well, and my dogs know it by virtue of their special canine senses. They’ve been sticking by my side, even more than usual. In fact, as I type this, I have one dog snuggled up on my left and one snuggled up on my right. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a job well done by my pack.

We know that dogs can sniff out a multitude of scents, and be taught to alert their handlers to smells such as drugs, explosives, and even people in need of rescue. But dogs can do so much more.

At this time in my life, I don’t need a dog for physical assistance. I don’t need a dog to guide me about my environment. I don’t need a dog who can alert me to sounds I don’t hear. I don’t need a dog who can sense a seizure before it happens, who can alert me that my blood sugar is way out of whack, or sniff out cancer — and dogs can do all of these things, too!

Even if you don’t consider yourself a dog person, it’s easy to see that dogs are truly amazing animals.

Who is your favorite pet, and how do they enrich your life? Please share your story in the comments below.

Do you own a working dog? How does your dog improve your life?

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