www.whyville.net Aug 3, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Must Love Dogs

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No one can truly understand the love and devotion a dog dedicates to its master except the master their self. Let me start off by saying that, yes, I am a dog person. I love dogs, all breeds and all sizes. There has never been I dog that I didn't like. I have grown up with dogs, and have first hand experience about what they are like. Let me tell you; they are amazing. Let me tell you about the past dogs in my life.

My parents bought their first dog, a golden retriever, Aspen, about three years after getting married. I do not remember much about her; I was only five when she died. But from home videos and the few memories I have of her, this is what I know: One word to describe Aspen was stoic. She was a very quiet, devoted dog and never cried or whimpered in her life. She gracefully lived her life around two young kids and newly weds. She was also very beautiful. Her coat of fur was like nothing I had ever seen. It was so thick, and so long, you could not get near her without being covered with fur. This is where my love of dogs began. I loved Aspen when I was a baby. We have several videos of her lying on the floor with me sitting and crawling on her back; even her carrying me around on her back like a horse. Yet she never growled, barked or cried.

When she turned twelve, she began to get a limp in her back left leg. The veterinarians knew nothing, saw nothing, and just told us to wait and watch. As she neared her thirteenth birthday, we knew she was fading. The doctors later found cancer in her leg, and told us they couldn't yet tell the extent of it. One morning we woke up to find her barking. Quiet, stoic, aspen, was barking. Something was very, very wrong. We came downstairs to find her lying on the floor. We tried to help her up, but it was no use. We soon noticed that, in addition to her back left leg not working, her back right one was not either. The cancer had spread. I don't remember much in detail after that, but we put her down later that day.

Our next Dog we got was Buddy. Buddy was our Benji. He was the perfect most loyal dog in the world, and I am beginning to cry right her at my computer just talking about it. Buddy was stunning. He unlike Aspen, did cry and bark, but never out of anger; if anything he was crying for us. He was stunning. Literally, a drop dead gorgeous dog. He slept next to my parents bed, followed us at our heels all day long, and was obedient to the death. We could drop food on the floor, and he would not touch it. He was strong too. For instance, one day a friend, who had never come to our house before, payed me a visit. Buddy, thinking she was an intruder, lept up on her, and barked in her face. However, as soon as a told him it was okay, he immediately sat down, next to me. If we ever accidentally left the door unlocked, it wasn't a problem we knew he would protect us.

Buddy turned six in September of 2007. About two weeks before Christmas of that year, my mom noticed he he breathing extra hard on his run one morning (they ran about three to four miles to together every day). She did some research and discovered that is was very possible that he could have asthma. So she took him into the vet. The vet ran several tests and confirmed that this was defiantly not asthma. She kept Buddy overnight to run more tests. We got the news that next morning when we cam to pick him up. Buddy have a form of heart failure. Basically, in a nutshell, his heart sac was releasing fluid into the area around his lungs. This caused his lungs not to be able to expand when he inhaled; sort of like someone sitting on your chest. She had tried to drain the fluid out of the area around his lungs, but there was no way to tell if his chest would fill up again. It did. And we drained him again. His chest filled up a third time. We drained it the day before Christmas. On Christmas day, buddy could not lie down or sit, he could only stand. We put him down the very next day, two weeks after we found out about this problem.

He was our perfect dog. So loyal. so dedicated. And suddenly . . . he was gone. Just like that. With no warning.

As I said before, no one understands the love a dog provides to you unless you have a dog. This may earn me several beatings in the BBS, but it is true. It doesn't matter what you have done, whether you just donated your whole wardrobe to Goodwill or accidentally killed your best friend's fish. They will do anything and everything for you. I think everyone needs someone or something like that in your life. They may not have thumbs; they may not be able to speak (perhaps for the better) but they warm the hearts of millions all over the world.

My family now has a new dog, named Cody. He is the opposite of Buddy. He is a wild maniac. For example: One day, when he was just a puppy, I noticed him chewing on something. After much "NO!ing" and "CODY COME!ing" I discovered what was in his mouth was none other then a field mouse, which he then dropped on my lap without a moments hesitation, wagging his tail at the field mouse. Later we discovered the mouse he found was already dead, and had died from poison, which cause Cody to throw up five times all over his new $60 bed we just purchased for him. Lovely.

Although Cody is a bit . . . undisciplined, we still love him. He is the last thing I see when I go to bed at night and the first thing I see in the morning. I hope many of you share the joy I have experienced with my past dogs, and for those of you who don't own a dog, I hope this has encouraged you to think about getting one.

"My life goal is to become the person my dog thinks I am."



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