Sarah E, Hespeler | March 1, 2017
You know you’re a crazy dog lady when the people you know point out dogs when they see them or show you funny dog clips on the Internet. Or when you receive dog themed gifts on all occasions. Or when people buy your dog presents too!
This past Christmas I was spoiled. I received a Labrador Retriever themed apron, Scottie dog themed measuring spoons, a Hand and Paw Project bracelet (with proceeds going to animal shelters around the world), A Million Dogs colouring book, and Every Dog: A Book of over 450 Breeds. And I definitely don’t have time to get into my not-so-new collection of dog paraphernalia. While my dog Wheatie traipsed around in his Santa jingle bell bandana, my family and I spent Christmas day reading about all sorts of dog breeds and their various ratings. As we read, I got the second dog itch, my mom got the “I need a dog right now” itch and my Grandpa sat on the fence somewhere in between.
My Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is thirteen and things are beginning to slow down. But there are so many things to consider when buying or rescuing an animal. Nancy Hajeski’s Every Dog: A Book of over 450 Breeds includes two pictures of each breed, one of the dog as a puppy and one as an adult, alternate names, the origin of each breed, and their different colourings. Further, each breed is rated on a scale of one to five for their ease of training, affection, playfulness, friendliness with other dogs and children, and the amount of grooming required. The book also goes over each breed's weight, life expectancy and common health problems. There were so many dogs I had never heard of before, and I consider myself to be well-versed in dog breeds!
While I know the likelihood of being able to rescue a purebred dog showcased in this book is unlikely, I really want to give a lonely dog a forever home. I’m also in a transition stage in my life that would make raising a puppy a challenge. A rescue would be the best of both worlds and I’m not too picky about the breed as long as it isn’t too small and yappy. In an ideal world, right now would be the perfect time…I would let my beloved Wheatie teach my new dog his tips and tricks as well as his not so impressive quirks so there would be more to remember him by. Since I know I’m not in the position to do this right this minute, I avoid looking at the Cambridge & District Humane Society webpage because I know I will want one or all of them. However, if you think you may be interested in giving a homeless pet a full life, check them out here.
If you’re interested in delving into dog stories, be sure to check out these great books:
A Dog’s Purpose was also released in January as a movie. Finally, if you feel brave enough to tackle a heartbreaking yet realistic story about an aging dog with a tumour, check out Lily and the Octopus. Warning: I advise you to keep your tissues handy…if you find yourself moved by dog-human relationships, the shedding of a few, or quite a few tears is inevitable.
While I classify myself as a “dog lover to the max,” I am aware that not all dog owners miss their dogs when they leave for work and consider installing a pet cam…just kidding! I’m not that crazy yet. I let my dog ride in the front seat, I have just as much fun as he does at the dog park, and I follow dogs on Instagram. If that isn’t man’s (or my) best friend, I don’t know what is. Also, here’s a shout out to all the cat lovers out there! As someone who has never owned a cat, I remain wholeheartedly inexperienced and highly curious.