Fellow Feelings to Words Dogs
It is not by chance that we call a dog “a man’s best friend.” Dogs are, to man, of the most loyal creatures on earth. Dogs like to be with us. They soothe us, help us and alert us to danger – as pets, but even more so for people who need service dogs to function in their everyday lives.
We all have a responsibility to our dogs. We have to love them back and give them the companionship they crave.
Consider Little John, the Labrador puppy, which was found on the street.
Small for his breed, he was just days away from euthanasia, but the staff at the shelter he was at, could not bear to think about this as an option. Someone suggested that John might be a good candidate for a police dog. With training and the right handler, he might be saved.
The story has a happy ending. John was matched with Officer Fielding. When the policeman saw him for the first time, it was love at first sight. The puppy started to wag its tail furiously, and they bonded immediately. Within two months, John was trained to sniff out drugs. Focused and determined, he took part in twelve drug busts within three months and could identify different drugs such as marijuana and heroin.
When he is not at work, John is at home with Officer Fielding’s family. He loves to play with the other dogs and cats at home and also with Ben, Officer Fielding’s small son. John was given a second chance at life. He brings joy to his family every day.
If John could talk, he would say thank you for being able to have a meaningful life. Not only does he have humans to relate to and to love, but he can also use his talents to help his community as a whole.
Of course, John doesn’t realize this consciously, but he surely knows that he is doing something good when taking part in drug busts by the praise he receives!
If your dog could talk, there are a few things that he will bring to your attention. It will only be a few things, as dogs are generally undemanding. Humbling, isn’t it?
Meet Your Dog’s Basic Needs
First, dogs would ask for their basic needs to be met. Clean, fresh water that can be easily reached, as well as two to three meals a day are all they would ask for.
Food leftovers are not really a balanced diet for a dog. Feed your dog dry dog food suitable for its breed and age. These dry dog food brands are especially formulated with the correct vitamins and minerals added to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Can I spoil my dog with a treat?
If your dog could talk, he would give you a profuse YES!
There are lots of store-bought treats that you can give your dog, but you can also give him frozen sardines as a tasty treat full of rich omegas. Chewing the crunchy and chilly tiny fish, he will come back for more!
A great on-the-go treat for dogs is raw baby carrots. It will naturally clean your dog’s teeth as a bonus.
Take Me to the Doctor, Please?
Your dog should see the vet for a wellness-visit at least once a year. The vet will give the dog a physical exam. He will look at your dog’s teeth, gait and movement. He will provide vaccinations with and give you a tick or worm prevention prescription if needed. Some breeds would need to be checked for genetic conditions.
If your dog is older than eight years, the vet will check for arthritis and cancer. If your elderly dog is taken to the vet regularly (at least twice a year), health troubles can be detected early, and your dog will have a better quality of life in its senior years.
In case of emergency
Take care when choosing a vet that they have emergency service, available 24/7. There might come a time when you would need to take your dog to have treatment, and you don’t want to find out then that the office is closed.
Be sure to save your vet’s phone number so that you can get to it easily.
I am old
Your dog will tell you (if it could) that it gets cold quicker with age. Extreme heat is also not tolerated well. Provide some warm blanket within easy reach for elderly dogs in winter. You can also dress your dog in a doggy coat.
In summer, they must have the means to cool off quickly. Old dogs can dehydrate quickly.
The heart and lung function of older dogs decline, just as it does in humans. Older dogs, therefore, does not need much exercise anymore.
Not for me, thanks
Don’t introduce your dog to new food in his old age. Let him have what he always had.
Keep a look out not to overfeed an elderly dog. Remember, he is not as active anymore. The extra weight might affect his joint health and stress it.
Dance me to End of Love
If your dog could talk, he would ask for a quality life. It is often a difficult decision for owners to decide on treatment when their dog gets a terminal disease.
There are a few things to consider: the costs, the pet’s quality of life after treatment, whether the treatment will hurt and how long the dog will live afterward.
Owners should consider all of these things and make the best decision for their best friend. If the dog is in chronic pain, not eating and not enjoying life, it might be wise rather let him go.
Officer Fielding had some admin work to do today and did not take John with him to work. John is restless, his ears perking with every sound. He is waiting because some part of him is missing.
Then, suddenly, footsteps! If John could talk, he would call out: My best friend is home! That is loyalty and pure love.
Dogs cannot talk. We know that.
But, we can take a good guess of what our straightforward and loyal friends would ask for if they could: that their basic needs be met, that we care for them, also in old age and when terminal and that we just love them as we would our children. Why just not do it?