Once was a dog

grenny

I am not a dog person. In fact, I am not a pet person at all. The only pets I ever owned were short-lived: goldfish, fighting fish, hermit crabs, and billabong bugs. I was successful at keeping caterpillars in the classroom and observing them grow, pupate, and emerge as butterflies. But they couldn’t really be classed as pets. I’ve written about this before here.

I know all the theories about pet ownership; especially for helping children develop a sense of responsibility and care for others. I know about the contribution of pets to the physical and psychological health of their owners of all ages through the companionship and unconditional love they offer. I am touched by the heart warming story of Noah Ainslie, a little boy suffering from autism, and the difference his service dog Appa has made to his life, and the lives of his family. Please help if you can.

screenshot-2016-10-10-19-53-42

It would not be unrealistic, with my focus on nurturing young children, to expect that I would be a pet owner. However, I’ve never been inclined to make the commitment required

My parents were both country people who moved to suburbia to raise their large family. There were never any pets. They said that dogs didn’t belong in towns. The dogs they were used to were working dogs, never pets. I guess there were enough mouths to feed without adding pets to the mix as well.

Unlike for some, lack of a pet as a child did not induce me to want one on reaching adulthood. Consequently, my children also missed out. Daughter had some mice, rats, and a guinea pig at various times; but nothing to compare to a “real” pet, like a cat or a dog. As soon as she moved into a house that allowed pets, she and partner went out and got themselves a dog.

screenshot-2016-10-11-20-21-38

I must say, Ziggy is a gorgeous dog with a happy, friendly, easy-going nature. If I was going to have a dog, he’d be it. I’m beginning to get an inkling of the relationship between humans and their animal friends. There is definitely something very special about it. However, I’m still not interested in forming an attachment of my own.

Ziggy is a very special dog with very special owners. You can get to know the three of them in this video. (Watch from 11:.24 – 15:20.)

Unfortunately the video may not play for those residing outside Australia. Thanks to Anne Goodwin for alerting me to the fact.

screenshot-2016-10-11-20-21-12

Ziggy’s innovative surgery put him in the spotlight for a little while. His story was also featured on the Tripawds blog

ziggy-on-tripawds-blog

and ABC News

screenshot-2016-10-10-19-24-20

The importance and depth of the human-pet relationship was reinforced for me this week when Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch reported that her big brown canine friend Grenny was gone.

Charli was devastated by his unexpected passing and shared stories of his special abilities and the ways in which he added to their lives. Her post is a wonderful tribute to Grenny’s life and his contribution to theirs. Charli asked writers to share stories about big brown dogs this week.

Charli said, In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a Big Brown Dog. I just want to read Big Brown Dog stories this week. I know dogs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can write about that, too. Keep it happy, write something funny, surprising or tender. Thank you.

Well, Charli knows that dogs aren’t my cup of tea. She also understands that, with no personal experience on which to draw, I feel inadequate to respond appropriately to her situation, other than offer my heartfelt sympathies. As for writing, I could come up with nothing other than nonsense which I don’t consider at all appropriate.  Other writers have written beautiful brown dog stories for Charli.

Please follow the link to read Charli’s post, the lovely comments, and the beautiful stories.

Instead of a flash, I’ll leave you with a few picture books about pets you might like to read:

A Pet for Mrs Arbuckle by Gwenda Smith

a-pet-for-mrs-arbuckle-by-gwenda-smyth

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr Seuss

lifetimes

Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie is a beautiful book for explaining death to children. It’s great to read at any time to help children understand that every living thing has its own lifetime. It is also great to read when the death of a pet is imminent or occurs. Understanding that death is a part of life, helps with the grieving process.

Breaths - life is not measured

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

30 thoughts on “Once was a dog

  1. Bec Colvin

    Hi Nor, thanks for writing this lovely post & for sharing Zig’s story! ZIg is lazing on the floor next to me now. I read today that a Harvard dog expert things dogs likely dream about their humans. How sweet is that. I am so sorry to hear of Charli’s loss. I know I will have a similar pain in the future, and it’s so hard to imagine. Thanks for accepting Zig into the family even though you are not a dog person.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Ziggy’s dreams must be wonderful if he dreams about his special humans. As far as accepting him goes, I didn’t have much choice, did I? 🙂 It’s impossible not to love him.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Sacha Black

    Lovely post Norah, I myself am a certified crazy cat lady. Although since we lost two in the space of two months, the heart ache was just too much to bear and we haven’t had pets since. I felt Charli’s pain, it’s like the death of a relation. truly awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Sacha. It must have been heartbreaking to loose two cats in as many months. Charli’s loss is painful too. Maybe my avoidance of pets is similar to the way some people avoid relationships. I know they can’t last.

      Like

      Reply
  3. prior..

    Norah – such a nice round up of thoughts about pets – types of pets – and ownership.
    When we were in Kansas City KS last June – we visitEd this church (biggest Methodist church in the area and it was enormous- kinda too big) but the week we were there was adopt a pet and it was fun – the lobby had dogs that could be adopted later – and the whole message was about the need to adopt – the problem was that they never mentioned the work and cost that comes with proper pet care.
    The “terrier man” blogger reminds his readers often – about the right pet for people and some folks need a cat! They think they need a dog – but their lifestyle and patterns might be more suited for a cat- or like you noted – a fish 🐟 or wait
    What is a billabong bug?? Ha

    Anyhow – looks like your D is cut out for a dog and omg is he cute – woof 🐶

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Yvette, thanks for your lovely comment. I enjoyed hearing about all those pets up for adoption. It’s true though, what you say, that people often go into pet ownership without any real knowledge of what’s involved. I wonder how many of those pets that are up for adoption have come from a home like that, and will go to another.
      Here’s some information about Billabong bugs http://www.petdirectory.com.au/?page=directory&listingid=1407&country=1&section=4
      Just because they’re little, doesn’t mean they’re easy to look after!
      My daughter is an amazing pet owner. She loves that puppy like a baby. He is very adorable. But I’d still rather a baby any day. (except today!)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. julespaige

    I had some dogs and cats while growing up. Some strange pets too…Even small pets are pets.
    But the cost and expense is something I no longer want.
    I have family that I can visit that have fur family. That, at the moment is enough for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. Hugh's Views and News

    We had a dog when I was very young. Then I had two dogs when in my early twenties, then nothing until our current dog, Toby, who we got in January 2012. I’d forgotten just how much they can become part of the family. We’ve even made friends with people we’d never have spoken to if it were for not both being out walking our dogs. But, I get your point, Norah. I’ve had various pets during my life (even had a goldfish for 16 years!), yet I’ve also had those long breaks without a pet.
    This was such a lovely post to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Norah.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Hugh. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed hearing about your pet experiences. I remember my daughter talking about all the friends they made through their puppy – not just dog owners, but all sorts. I guess people are inclined to react to dogs the way they are to babies and young children. They are all a great way of making friends and meeting new people.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Charli Mills

    Thank you for the reflection on pets, relationship dynamics and Ziggy’s story. My wifi is not playing videos at the moment and I don’t think that’s the same issue as Anne brought up. Thank you, Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. thecontentedcrafter

    I cannot imagine life without my four legged friends – though there have been brief periods and I definitely noticed the lack. We are all different and I think if you do not feel the love than getting a pet because you think you should is a definite no-no! Pets require looking after, understanding of their feline or canine natures and it is a little like having a perpetual 2 – 3 year old living in the house. Perhaps that’s what makes them so appealing to so many of us 🙂 The world is full of neglected and abandoned pets from people who don’t really like them but thought they’d give it a go ……. And isn’t it amazing how your shy confession brought out all the other no-pets folk. Perhaps it’s a little like religion, some do it, some don’t and mostly we avoid talking about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I knew you were a pet lover. I love reading about your little Siddy.
      It’s funny that you compare pet ownership to having a toddler in the house. I love toddlers! Why then don’t pets interest me? Hmm.
      It is sad that so many pets are neglected or abandoned, as happened to Ziggy before he adopted his wonderful new owners. The damage they do when they become feral is horrendous.
      It is interesting that there have been a few no-pet people come forward. You are right. We don’t often talk about it. We leave each to their own. We’re possibly a bit more tolerant of these differences than we are of religion.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. jennypellett

    I think you’re very brave to admit to this pet aversion. I share it, Norah! I often think it might be ‘a good thing’ to add a dog to the family, for all the reasons you outlined above but then I see my friend and her new puppy and see how much hard work is involved…it would be like having a very needy baby all over again. No thanks! I can enjoy going for walks with or without my doggie friends and I don’t have to carry unmentionable substances home with me in little plastic bags😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Jenny. It sounds like we are in agreement. Pet ownership does involve a lot of work. Obviously it’s not too much for those who enjoy it.
      I know what you mean about those unmentionables. I see my daughter running around after her dog with those plastic bags. At least it is more friendly to everyone than it was in the old days when people walked their dogs and left their calling cards everywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. Steven

    I’m mostly with you Norah, although I have had the benefit of having owned some pets (mostly dogs) in my youth, as well as a stint of goldfish and guinea pigs in adulthood. Despite this, I’m not much of a dog person either although a lot more than I am a cat person. I suspect that with more and more units and high-rise making their way into our cities, the long-term future for the Veterinarian profession is looking to shift back to the country regions again.

    I have commented previously that the loss of a pet is a good preparation for a more anthropic one, particularly for younger people. Still, it is an unfortunate event and difficult time.

    Kudos to you for trying but acknowledging that you couldn’t write anything appropriate for the challenge – I guess it just happens sometimes. It is very impressive and a demonstration of skills that you and your writing cohort are able to rise to the challenge as regularly as you do. You could have written a light-hearted comedy about someone waking up to a tiny cute brown puppy, right in front of their face (so it looks like a big brown dog).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I do! You share wonderful stories about your doggy friends, past and present. I’m pleased you are still able to enjoy the post with my alternative views. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. Annecdotist

    Like you, I can appreciate how pets work for others, but they’re not me. You’ve more than made up for the lack of a flash in this post. But, sadly, I was looking forward to seeing Bec on video but seemingly it doesn’t work outside Australia. She’ll just have to make another!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m disappointed that the video didn’t play for you. I knew you’d like to see my Bec. Perhaps I’ll video them when they’re over next and share it with you. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  11. Colline

    I grew up having pets and I do admit to loving their furry bodies. Unfortunately for my children, they have not had the experience I had for I don’t believe it is right to have an animal living in an apartment with five, then four, people.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s