I'm happy to publish the first Guest Post of Just My Dog! Thanks to Pamela of Inspiring Tails and Riley, her precious source of inspiration... Don't forget to visit her website, www.inspiringtails.com: many ideas and interesting info inspired also by the world of dogs.
The term, a dog is a “man’s best friend” does not give a dog nearly enough credit.
They are the purest of soul and the patience, responsibility, and commitment that come with having a dog bring out the best in ourselves. Dogs have a way of sensing our emotions, feelings and body language and all those things pave the way to creating an unbreakable bond.
Getting a dog is a huge responsibility. It can be hard work and it is a lifetime commitment, but the joys and love that your dog will return to you are absolutely priceless. Not only do they improve our physical and mental health, but they also encourage a healthy fitness routine.
The bigger question to consider: why getting a dog?
I’m your typical perfectionist and want everything to be in order and clean. So who would think that a German Shepherd and I would be such a great match? Well, love is sacrifice – isn’t it? Love is a compromise.
Now I’m always covered in dog hair and I don’t care. Slobber stains? No problem. Dog toys all over the house are a norm. And the best part is – I wouldn’t change a thing. I love having a large dog and all the sacrifices and difficulties that may come with that are a small price to pay for everything that my dog has brought into my life.
I’ll never forget the day I decided to get a dog. I grew up with dogs my whole life, but when you grow older and decide to get a dog on your own – it is a completely different story. One night, I was sitting in my dorm room and decided to make the spontaneous decision to go on Craigslist and search for a dog. I had two German Shepherds when I was younger and I always admired how incredibly loyal and protective they are. It had been on my mind for months, I just never had the courage to speak out about it. I was 20 years old in college and I could already hear everyone saying that I was too young to take care of a dog.
Nevertheless, soon enough I found the perfect ad! A man in Kentucky had a dog that was having a litter and a few months later I was making the six-hour trek to Kentucky to pick up my new best friend.
Choosing to get a larger dog breed has its difficult moments, of course. Riley is now a 4-year old German Shepherd weighing about 90 pounds. A dog that size needs a good deal of exercise, so I’m constantly taking her out for walks and checking out nearby trails. My life has completely changed by getting a dog. My normal day-to-day decisions constantly have her in mind. For example, I’m never away from home for more than five hours and if I know that I will be out for an extended period of time, I take her to my parents’ house.
I’ve always loved larger dogs. They’re definitely more of a handful but just like everything in life, it’s what you make of it. By taking Riley out on a lot of walks not only am I in better shape but I’ve also learned to love outdoor adventures. There’s also a sense of comfort and security in having a large dog. They’re so affectionate and loving that it’s like having a giant teddy bear.
The relationship between a dog and a human is a two-way street. We’ve all heard the phrase, “who rescued who?” and it’s definitely something to ponder on. Riley has been the best decision that I have ever made. I don’t remember what life was like before she came home and I couldn’t image life without her. She has taught me so many things about life, about myself and about love. We’ve been through everything together from boyfriends to break-ups to moving around Virginia. As a six-month-old puppy, she saved my life. She inspires me every single day to be the best person that I can be.
A dog is a lifetime commitment, not a temporary cuddle buddy. Cute tiny little puppies grow into larger dogs. The little puppy jumps turn into slow – aged limps. Unexpected things happen and require expensive vet visits. The amount of money I’ve spent at my vet is probably embarrassing and arguably enough to have my own wing, but my dog is priceless to me.
I’ve gotten rejected from housing leases because of Riley’s breed, however – I kept my dog.
I’ve had friends and boyfriends that didn’t really like her and would want me to choose – I chose my dog.
Riley is 4 years old and already has hip dysplasia and arthritis, both are lifelong conditions that slow her down. I’m sure some people would tell me to put her down or take her to the shelter. And I would tell them all the same thing in a heartbeat – she’s my best friend, and I’ll be by her side until her last breath.
Life is a series of roller coasters and choosing to get a dog is a lifetime commitment that has its ups and downs. The best part is that if you choose to ride it out together, you’re never alone for the ride. And there is no better way to come home even after a bad day at work than to have a loving, furry companion that is just as excited to see you whether you’ve been away for two weeks or two hours. Your dog may only be a part of your world, but to them … you are their whole world.
Would you like to read the other articles of Pamela? Follow her at inspiringtails.com
Are you interested in writing a Guest Post for Just My Dog? Write me!