“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole” – Roger Caras
In my last post I lied. I said that my daughter was my first and only. Not true. I actually adopted a much furrier child several years prior. Reggie Aloysius Baxter was wandering the mean streets and was brought to our police department by the concerned family who found him. He did two hard days in lockup before ultimately being adopted by my me and my wife.
From the start, Reggie was the best dog. He still is. Despite his anxiety and occasional struggles with his bladder, he has been the most loving and appreciative dog I’ve ever known. In some weird way, he knows exactly how lucky he is. He has been, and will continue to be, loved.
When we got Reggie, I was assigned to midnight shift. Therefore, he spent many a night watching TV at the wife’s feet while daddy was at work. This comforted both me and my lovely bride. She had someone to hang out with, and I had some comfort that she was not scared or, at the very least bored, being home alone. Not only that, but he was adopted as the first new member into our family.
A dog is a practice child. Plain and simple. Having one should be required before having a kid. Cleaning up puke at 2 am, paying medical bills, budgeting expenses to account for food and grooming. All on a smaller scale of course. So what’s the reward? Unconditional love.
I don’t think anyone understands such a feeling until they have a dog. A dog needs you. Always aims to make you feel better. Don’t try to understand if you are a cat person. Dog people know. It’s hard to compare the love of a faithful companion. Of course you don’t know true love until you have a kid. That being said, It brings tears to my eyes when I see Reggie interact with his sister. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, they are like siblings and we refer to them as such.
Since kiddo’s birth, Reggieman has been a caring, loving brother, who wants nothing more than to be as close as possible to his sister at all times. She relishes how “silly” he is. He relishes in all the extra food that gets dropped on the floor. But boy do they love each other.
Reggie is getting older. Some day we’ll need to make a tough choice and have an even tougher conversation with his human best friend. An important lesson about mortality? Yes, but a tough one. Reggie is sleeping on my feet as I write this. We hope to get many more years of puppy snuggles before the end. I don’t care to think about it right now. Right now I’m going to enjoy the siblings playing. Laughing/growling, chasing and sharing food. Oh yes, she has sampled his food as well. Thankfully she’s not a fan, although I’m told it’s nutritionally complete.
To wrap this rambling up, I’d like to share some advice. Get a dog. Adopt if you can. Be sure to do your research, but definitely get one. If you have any plans to have children, a dog is a first and a must. It gives you a small taste of what to come with a giant dose of love on the side. The amount of love only grows as more members, furry or not, get added to the family.