“Dog” Days of Summer

“Man’s or Woman’s Best Friend”. At a time when true friends have proven to be more valuable than ever, it seems that getting a dog is something a good number of people and families did during the pandemic and its aftermath. Long-time dog lovers seem to agree that dogs can bring true happiness to unbearable situations. And the saying, “if you want a friend, get a dog” has been heard for years, even in the movies. “Dog benefits” range from personal joy to family togetherness…with a good deal of responsibility mixed in.

While a dog can turn out to become a true best friend, the “getting a dog” decision is a BIG one and not to be taken lightly. The considerations are several:

  • Dog owner responsibility and ongoing learning
  • Time commitment – training and care, over the dog’s life span
  • Financial – the costs of having and taking care of a dog are not small and it is wise to consider the budgetary aspects
  • Potential life-changing joy… and/or heartache (describes most of life’s endeavors).

The tempting part is that in the end, most dog owners say their dog – or dogs (!!) — changed their lives amazingly for the better.

If this topic sounds familiar it is because yours truly is still mulling over whether and when to get a dog. The fun part can be deciding what kind of dog to get! Also, whether to go with a rescue provider or quality breeder. One difficult part could be answering the question: how would a dog fit into a person’s or family’s lifestyle?

It could be possible as the old Irish saying goes, “to leave an empty chair at the table because…there is always room to welcome one more.” A dog can fast become a dear friend and family member with everyone grateful for the mutual acceptance.

Of course, there are those who fail miserably at dog ownership or fall on hard times with the dog. This sadder part is why careful, thoughtful consideration must be given to all aspects of acquiring a dog or any pet. It comes down to timing, sacrifice and the degree of desire for more in a person’s or family’s life – with eyes wide open. In these “dog days” of summer there might be time to mull it over – while enjoying another of the benefits of a dog: walking the dog! Walking is a surprisingly wonderful physical, mental, and emotional outlet.

Enjoy the dog days of summer.

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