Yes, my dogs sleep in the bed with me - if I'm lucky. They usually prefer the cooler hardwood floor. I feed them dinner before I even think about cooking my own. Their bowls get topped off with a joint support and digestive supplement in the form of a rich meaty gravy.
The boys visit the vet for regular check-ups and emergencies. No, I myself do not have health insurance, and it's been several years since I've been to the doctor.
After Thurgood had surgery to correct some eye problems, I sat on the couch with his head in my lap and read Marley & Me aloud to him. When he cried out in pain that night, I slept on the cool kitchen floor with him and held him in my arms until morning.
We go on two walks every day, rain or shine. When the weather permits, we go on a weekly long hike in the woods.
For Thurgood's third birthday, the boys had cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries. Yes, those burgers were for the boys.
When their tummies are upset, I feed them warm pumpkin to coat their stomachs. And, although I'm vegetarian, I cook them chicken and rice.
My dogs get a warm bath every few weeks in our tub with Certified Fair Trade pure castile soap made with organic hemp and eucalyptus oils and lavender mint conditioner. We brush their teeth with chicken-flavored toothpaste every day (mostly every day).
Miles spent the first three months of his life in a puppy in Jefferson City, Missouri. He came to me through an animal shelter, full of parasites from drinking dirty water. There were so many animals at the mill that there was no way he could have received any significant human contact while there. It's because of people who see animals as commodities, that Miles now has a difficult time trusting people. If you get a dog, don't buy one from a pet store or "breeder." Adopt, adopt, adopt! They need our help.
The head of the house is the one with the tail.
I'm 28 years old, and my dogs are my children.
I'll be the first to admit that I tend to go overboard when it comes to caring for my kids. However, I will not apologize for it. Dogs are emotional creatures. They need to feel safe and loved. They look to us for confidence and reassurance. A dog's person is his everything. My efforts are rewarded tenfold with the unconditional love that only a dog can give.
My heart aches for the all the dogs that live their lives on the end of a chain. All they want is to be a part of the family. They want to be with their pack. They are sensitive, loving animals that thrive on human attention. Dogs and humans CO-EVOLVED for crying out loud!
We live in a rural area where a lot of people keep their dogs in tiny pens or on the end of a chain all hours of the day. Animal welfare and control services are scarce, and attitudes about animal care are all out of whack.
I understand that livestock guardian dogs live with the flock, and are not house pets. I have no objection to that. I do, however, object to leaving a dog outside all day on the end of a chain, bored out of his mind, wishing to come inside and be with his people. When you call a dog your own, you are committing to provide for all of his emotional and physical needs for the duration of his life.
No, dogs don't need fancy toys or fancy food (but they do appreciate them). And you don't have to let your dog into your bed or even onto your couch to be a good parent. But, all dogs deserve adequate food, shelter, medical care, and most importantly, love.
There. I feel better now.