I have been a dog breeder, trainer and judge for many years and I often tell new owners ‘treat your dogs like you do your kids’ and make sure they are trained to be good citizens.
Unfortunately many people do not train (or teach) their children or their dogs and then wonder why they have unruly kids and dogs. Both need to know their boundaries and limitations and both find love and security with adults who ‘stick to the rules’ and set examples.
When there is trauma or illness in the family, your animals (particularly dogs) will sense it and offer gentleness and love.
If you have a parent in a caregivers home, please take your dog to visit them. Even when my mum was too ill to kiss or hug me, she managed to raise a finger and put on her dogs paw as her dog lay quietly beside her. Mum died later that night with the memory of her beloved pet etched in her mind.
There are many stories about how dogs have picked up that their owners have a cancer or are about to have seizure or other such inflictions. Consequently dogs are now being training to pick up the scent of cancer, just as they do for drugs.
To have a dog or cat curl up on your knee and place their paws around your arm or their muzzle on your neck, thus expressing their love, can make everyone feel good. This is what ill people need to give a boost to their healing process.
When I was in hospital for three weeks, I worried about Cooper, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as he suffered anxiety attacks when away from me. One day when I was on the phone talking to my husband I could hear him crying. My husband said he sat at the back door every day for around an hour, looking out for me and crying.
We have all heard of Greyfriar’s Bobby where the dog, Bobby, sat beside his owner’s grave every day for the rest of his life. Dogs do have a sense of belonging to one person or a family and we must not forget this. It is not just humans that benefit from the love of a dog; the dog also experiences warmth and comfort when loved by a human.
People who do not own a dog or cat are really missing out on something special and I feel sorry for children who are not brought up with a pet. They teach us so much and should be a part of our lives.
Hints and Tips
Keep your dogs healthy and they will respond by helping your health to improve and will speed up your recovery when you are ill. Give them love and they will love you unconditionally in return.