The painting I chose for this piece looks just like the dog my husband and I owned when we were first married. Actually, he was our first baby and his name was, Rufus. We took very good care of, Rufus. He was the best groomed dog in the neighborhood and a friend to all. His only vice was red chili and his beard was more often than not, stained red from getting into the neighbors garbage and the left-over red chili he found there. He was so cute that no one minded, really, and the good side of his addiction was that he never had worms. When we moved from the city to the country, he came along without a whimper even though, his lifestyle changed dramatically. He wasn’t so clean anymore as he loved swimming in the irrigation ditch and running wild along the San Juan River. Cockle burrs became the bane of his existence and he often had his hair shaved off because of the way they matted in his fur. His love for running wild was the vehicle of his demise. He was bothering a farmer’s sheep one day, and that was the end of poor, Rufus. His charm didn’t work on our country neighbors as it had on our neighbors in the city. All and all, Rufus had a good life and he was a loyal companion to the end.
Dogs are loyal companions and the relationship between master and canine is unique and important. Children love dogs and when I think of children and their dogs, I think of my son when he was about twelve and the poem he wrote about his dog and their special friendship:
A boy and his dog, Sitting on a log, And just thinking.
Short and sweet, I know but a perfect expression of the comfortable quiet of the master/dog relationship. Dogs are happy with whatever time their owners can give them and don’t require the continual engagement that most friends demand. However, they are always ready to play when called upon. They are expert at sensing their master’s mood and do their best to comfort, empathize, or entertain.
Can anyone resist a puppy? They are so cuddly and sweet and greet everyone on wobbly legs and wagging tails that cause their tiny bodies to sway back and forth. They are able to charm even the most ardent cat lovers into taking them home. Puppies are a lot of work but somehow, any previous memory of being burdened by puppy-care, melts away in the presence of a new, adorable litter. The antics of a puppy not only cause laughter but can heal a broken human heart. I know God has a sense of humor because He created puppies.
As boomers grow older, the relationship we have with our dogs often deepens and becomes more important. They are loyal companions when we are healthy but more so, when we are sick. Dogs possess a special empathy and some dogs have even been trained to diagnose cancer in human beings. This special sensitivity along with the love they give their owners can literally, be a life-saver. We older ladies love our children but loving children entails a certain amount of heartache. Dogs never disagree or do things that cause their master’s to worry. Dogs simply love and are happy when they receive love in return. Women especially, have an inborn need to nurture and babying a special dog can fill that inner need. Older people are often somewhat, lonely and there is no better fix for that loneliness than adopting a loving canine. Dogs are more than pets. A dog really is a best friend.