I have had a dog in my life in one shape or form for a long time. When I was a kid we had at least four that I can remember, a Collie named Lassie (how apropos), a French Poodle named Gigi, Puff the Old English Sheepdog and Spot the Dalmatian. Even though we had these dogs when I was kid they were never my responsibility and I never remember being too attached to any of them because my mother wouldn’t let any of them in the house! I loved my mother dearly but looking back on it all I wonder why she bought them if she didn’t really want them as pets.
Lassie was my dad’s dog and he built a huge dog house and run for her in the backyard. He took care of her and ran her around the outside of the house every evening after supper. That I remember clearly, but the other three dogs are kind of a blur and to be honest I don’t really know, or remember, what ever happened to them. That sounds awful saying that, especially being the dog lover I am, but like I said I never felt like they were part of the family.
I changed all that when I had a house and a family of my own, thanks to a VERY understanding husband! I got Tulip and Holly at a spectacular no-kill animal shelter in Texas called Adopt-a-Pet, and I was so impressed with the work they were doing that I ended up volunteering there for several years, as did my kids and hubby. Both Tulip and Holly were mixed breeds and were puppies when we got them. They moved houses (and states) twice with us and ended up living very long lives. Tulip lived to be 15, Holly until 17. I guess Texas dogs are long livers!!
Then when Holly and Tulip were in their golden years we brought a silly little puppy named Jasmine into our family as a gift for my daughter’s 16th birthday. My daughter (and I) both wanted a smaller dog, so this time around we actually went to a breeder to guarantee what kind of dog our pup would turn out to be. Jasmine is half Shitzu and half Havanese, and I like to say she’s a HavaShitz
Tulip and Holly were rejuvenated with the addition to our family, and began to enjoy walking the neighborhood again, even though it was quite a feat for me trying to walk two oldsters and a sprightly puppy but we managed, and I like to think that Jasmine added a few more years to their lives.
Holly & Jasmine 2011
And now we just have Jasmine. Having a little dog obviously has worked out for us, she’s portable, for lack of a better word, and we have been able to fly and travel numerous times with her. Luckily she isn’t a fragile little thing. She loves to walk, fetch, climb and play, and she especially loves the snowy, cold weather, which is a good thing since we spend a bit of time in Alaska! But she is far cry from the lap dog that my daughter and I were hoping for, she prefers her independence and hates being picked up and carried around. That’s not to say that she isn’t underfoot all the time, or making sure she knows where all her people are at any given moment, she just would never be caught dead being carried around in a purse!
Before I had these three wonderful furry friends in my life I never truly understood it when someone said that a dog was like a member of their family, but I get it now, I really get it.