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The Joy of Dogs in Our Lives

The Joy of Dogs in Our LivesWhat new can be said about a dog? Or 2 dogs for that matter?

There must be a trillion pictures and just as many stories about all the dogs and all the relationships they’ve had with us humans. Now they even have their own cable channel, Dog TV.

But as I was looking down at our yellow Lab mix and some version of a Border Collie lying on the floor, I had a thought. They are here, right now, living with Katie and me.

Their lives are really only a portion of ours — yet we too often take them for granted.

These two are our current crop of canine and have followed in the paw prints of many other dogs that have passed through our lives before. We’ve loved, laughed, walked, run, picked up poop, spent and mourned. We have a stack of little wooden boxes filled with ashes and names like Sami, Chelsea, Duke, Buddy and Wally (and one named Thor, but she was a cat). Our current boys, Marty and Rudy, are in the first one-third of their lives with us, still vigorous, silly and ready to play.

As I looked at them, I realized how quickly time goes by and that one day they too would join the stack of little boxes. It was like time had paused for that moment. I sat there just looking at them and realizing that each moment is so important to cherish.

I also realized that there are millions of people who are living through all parts of the lives of furry friends. Some are spreading newspapers for miniature versions of the dogs they will become. Some are like us, enjoying the love and play of a dog in the prime of its life.

Too many, though, are following the difficult journey of a young friend stoically suffering through a disease from which they will not recover. We walked that road with two of ours. Two more little boxes, too soon.

Looking at them now, I don’t know how long they will be with us. But I have a new appreciation, a new gratitude, and a deeper connection with these two fur generators who litter the yard, raid the trash, jump on visitors and bark and bark.

Because with all the challenges they bring, there are few more genuine greetings we get at the door or more excited awakenings in the morning than the ones these four-legged monsters give every single day.

So go find your dog. Roll it over and scratch its tummy. Let it lick your face and go get it a treat. No — get it two.

The Joy of Dogs in Our Lives

Bruce Rogow

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APA Reference
Rogow, B. (2018). The Joy of Dogs in Our Lives. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 25 Oct 2012)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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