Sunday, May 13, 2012
Lesson 148: What's Up Dog?
Happy Mother's Day, Readers! I remember a year ago today well. My beloved Josie, a seven year old black lab, was stricken with Pancreatitis and we almost lost her. On Mother's Day.
In case anyone in my area experiences a doggy tragedy today, let me tell you this: weekend pet emergency centers don't cut you a break on Mother's Day. Ye-Owch. The March Tax Return Slush Fund soon became the Flush Fund in two days time. Doggy IV's and hospital stays are quite expensive. I can see why some pet owners carry pet insurance. Still, it was worth every penny and I was glad we were able to pay for her care. Otherwise we would have had to say goodbye to our loyal pet. On Mother's Day.
At the Lamp Post, pets are like people. We are down to just one dog as Amtrak, my sister's 20 year old cat I got stuck with but grew to love, was laid to rest under the willow tree in the back yard last summer. There is a stray black cat I've been trying to lure in with food scraps, (sshhhhhhh!!). Kitty remains elusive and looks to be in good shape while hunting the fields across from my house. I named him Sayid after a LOST character and maybe one day he'll get tired of hunting and will seek refuge at the Lamp Post. My light will be on when he is ready.
Strays are my favorite. I've adopted several over the years. Josie was a choice however, and came to our house as a puppy so the kids could have the experience of raising and training a dog since puppy hood. We sunk a grand into an invisible fence that encompasses the three acre plot that my house and my parents' house sits on, only to find out we would never have needed it. Josie sticks close by, fence or no fence. The fence is still there, so I frequently tell my parents that when the dementia sets in, I'll strap them with shock collars and juice the thing up again. That way they can have some freedom to wander and I won't have to worry about them getting hit by a car if they walk into the road.
On the blog video, set to Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Men, I snagged pictures of pets from some of my facebook friends. Remember, whatever you post on the internet is subject to thievery. My favorite is when people use a photo of their dog as their facebook profile picture. I have a whopping 113 facebook friends (benefits of an account under a pen name), and many of you have pictures of your pets in your albums. You will see a collection beginning with Josie, and Sadie the Stray (my parents' dog), to Hercules mys sister's pug and Lola, TracySouthern's fluffy ball of fur.
At the end of the video, I put some images I found in an article I recently read titled, Dog Owners Pick Dogs Like Themselves. The article was the summation of a British study by Lance Workman who interviewed over 2,000 dog owners and studied their character traits. He found that dog owners either bear a striking resemblance to their pets or they subconsciously choose animals that mirror their own personality.
The photos on the blog video certainly support Dr. Workman's premise that people are drawn to animals with similar physical attributes. Did you hear the scream? That was just my sister. She has two pugs. I should probably give a shout too, as my choice of dog was a black Labrador retriever. If you can recall the joke from an earlier blog post, someone once told me that I reminded them of Oprah Winfrey, so I guess that could be true.
This idea holds true with my hemispheric friends Tracy Northern and Tracy Southern. TNorthern chose a golden retriever puppy this Christmas who will grow long legs and beautiful long wavy tresses like hers. TSouthern, my pint sized pal picked Lola, a teeny tiny, non allergenic, fluffy breed that I can never recall. It is cute just like she is. (See the next post for some more pictures that I couldn't make work on this one--still experiencing puzzling, formatting problems).
Physical attributes aside, Dr. Workman did find that we really do look for a dog that is similar in personality to ourselves. When discussing his latest results he said, "It could be that when you look for a dog, on some level that is largely subconscious, you look for something that is a bit like you." Examine your pet. See if you chose a gun dog, a handbag dog, a work dog, or a guard dog.
Do you have attributes similar to your dog? Gun dogs like the beagles and hounds are for your the outdoorsy types who enjoy spending time outside. The work dogs are your danes and shepards who are known for their instincts and high intelligence. The retriever breeds are known for their friendliness and loyalty. Guard dogs like you dobermans and pit bulls are known for their bark and their bite. The handbag dogs fit best for those who like a bit of a fluffy lifestyle. The sleek dogs without a lot of hair are best for types who like to keep a clean house and don't want to fuss with pet hair.
My parents' dog Sadie was the neighborhood stray. Sadie reminded me of the children's book Six Dinner Sid, about a cat who ate dinner at every house in the neighborhood. That is just about Sadie. We can track three "owners" of the dog, but my parents house is the most recent place Sadie's taken up residence and they now hold the vet records, so she can be officially called "theirs." She found the right place because my parents are well known for their generosity. She still wanders away. Barely a week goes by without a phone message left on the answering machine, "Are you missing a dog named Sadie?" Thank goodness for dog tags.
My friend Angie flooped the coop and is a traveling nurse. She's lived in all kinds of places, but Angie is an example of you can take the girl from her hometown but you can never take the hometown out of the girl. She loves her Huskies. Coincidence? Eloise thinks not.
Now what about the pugs, you may ask? My beautiful, athletically inclined sister has two fat, smushed faces licking her every morning. I won't even mention those curled tails that leave the other end of the digestive tract exposed....yuck. Those pugs are like her though, because they are loving and so stinkin' funny. If you know Kenyan, you know that she is always good for a laugh.
Poodle or pit bull. Lola or Labrador. Whatever pet you choose (or finds its way to you), love it like it is your own child. They are well worth the work and the added expense. Researchers find that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners. That is a good thing.
Scroll down to the next blog post for a few more pictures that I was unable to insert on this page due to a formatting glitch. None of my students would help me last week. They were too busy ripping of the days from their student countdown calendars they have posted in classrooms all across the district.
Have a doggone good day!
Posted by eloise hawking at 9:44 AM