You know, I have often wondered why we have all these dogs and if it enhances our lives beyond feeling like we are doing something good for the community. To put it into perspective, I have always had dogs, and they have always been functional on the farm. Shepherds to help with the cows or other livestock were the most common.
As an anecdote, as a child, I had always had Shepherds and when my neighbor got a Golden Retriever, I watched him throw the ball with the dog and I was just amazed. My father never would throw a baseball with me so I desperately wanted to throw the ball with my dog. I tried over and over to throw the ball with my dog “Frisky” but I could hit her between the eyes with the ball and she would just look at me. Like Shepherds, she was very protective of me and if anything entered the yard, she would get between me and the person (or cow in some cases) and defend me fiercely. I could pull her hair or do just about anything and she would protect me. But she didn’t have any interest in chasing a ball or anything else. She died protecting me on the 4th of July when my siblings set off fireworks that spun on the porch and she tried to lay on them to stop them.
I never loved a dog since and then when I got my first house I got a little puppy from a puppy mill that had been raided and that little dog adored me. There is nothing like having a dog that you love and that just seems to adore you back. She died when I bought this house.
Then many years later I got Darby that just adored me, and he was abruptly taken away by an accident.
The point is, you can have dogs and they are wonderful companions, but they do not make me feel like I have something I would walk into a burning house to save except for a very few. We have rescued over 100 dogs and I train all of them but I still see them as dogs and I often find them to have annoying habits. But when there is a rare occasion that you have a dog that you overlook all of the things that you would find annoying, you know you have a dog that has really fit with you.
Goofy McGoofface is that dog for me. Kira is a great dog, but she has no affection other than she sees me as her protector. But Goof just seems to respond to me. When he came to us as a foster, the HART organization were sure that I would dislike the dog and so he was safe. But I think my reaction surprised everyone. I tried to dislike him. I called him ugly and tried to ignore him. But I really adore him. With all of the problems I am having with work and my own health, Goof gives me a reason to deal with the drudgery of the terrible drive home. I have something to look forward to and something to care for.