My dog Sandy, is as sweet an old dog as you will ever find. At 13 she is already a year or two past the average life span for her breed. As a labrador retriever she is not discriminating about what she eats and will happily visit the garbage can, in addition to what is placed before her.
Knowing her capacity for eating we try to limit her food to a cup of dry food in the morning and another in the evening. Her Vet says that she is ‘the perfect weight’ and is ‘a beautiful dog’, which for some odd reason causes me to swell up with pride. Why this is, I’m not sure.
A recent physiological study measured the effect of a pet on people’s health. I read that a pet has a discernible effect on lowering a person’s blood pressure and heightening brain chemicals that elevate your mood and cause you to relax. No surprise there.
Whose mood isn’t elevated when you leave the house and drive to the store for a loaf of bread only to be greeted by a grinning dog with a wagging tail? It’s like you’ve returned from a month-long trip to Italy, rather than a ten minute trip to the corner store.
Its been noted that we project onto our pets human emotions. We like to believe that our pets love us as much as we love them. I know my dog loves me unconditionally…..my cat, I’m not so sure.
Someday, Sandy will go to Doggy Heaven, which in my imagination is Fenway Park, where America’s Best Dog can romp, eat whatever she wants and poop on the manicured lawn of America’s Best Ballpark.
When that day comes. I know I will be a puddle. I know I will miss a dog that loves me without condition, who forgives me my trespasses and is always waiting for me to come home.
I’ll close with this little prayer:
“O God, help me to be the person, my dog thinks I am. Amen.”