February 23, 2015 § 4 Comments
The end of February is a favourite time of year. Winter is coming to a close and it’s a tradition in our family to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Even Mica, our seven-month-old puppy, joined us this year, frequently gawking up at the TV with curiosity at the furkids running into our living room.
This year’s viewing was bittersweet. It’s a year ago later this week that we suddenly lost our beloved Jasper.
If there was ever an example of how much a pooch becomes part of the family, it was Jasper. I’ve written a few times about how Jasper thought he was a human.
My eyes welled up often as I watch the Dog Show as they described the role canines play in watching out for their families while providing amusements for adults and children.
It’s a cliché, but dogs really are humans’ best friends. They are loyal and don’t hold grudges. They’re always ready to make our day. They make you smile, even when you don’t feel like it. They provide comfort and are the best listeners, whether we have tales of woe or happy stories to share.
Shortly after we brought Mica into our home in September, a work colleague, Karry, shared the verse below by author Erica Jong. It perfectly describes what dogs mean to us:
Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love,
they depart to teach us about loss.
A new dog never replaces an old dog;
It merely expands the heart. If you have loved
many dogs your heart is very big.
Joyce and I have been married nearly 29 years and we’ve had a dog almost 27 of those.
First, there was Sammi. She was always nervous and traumatized from shoddy treatment prior to joining our family. She was smart-as-a-whip, the most patient big sister when Peter was a toddler, gnawing on her legs, and the most loyal dog ever.
Then there was Jasper, a golden lab/shepherd/mutt cross. He was once described diplomatically as rambunctious by a neighbour but he wanted to be everyone’s friend. His belief that he was a person was defined by taking up his full third share of our bed.
Mica, a Bouvier-Golden Retriever cross, is still forming her personality, which, much like her fur, is still trying to figure itself out – she was born completely black but now tufts of white are showing through.
Anyone who thinks dogs are just animals has never come home from a stressful day to a happy-faced puppy, wagging its tail, bounding up to greet you.
Here’s to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for reminding us of all the various breeds of these fine companions. And here’s to all the joy they bring my family and all the other furparents out there.