The greatest gift of all

We've all seen them in the celebrity magazines, tiny pocket pooches carried around as an accessory by some very famous celebs. Many of these tiny dogs not only add cuteness to their celebrity owner but also have their own celebrity status once they are linked to a big name. These tiny dog versions live the high life, life in the fast lane and are often decked out in designer fashions, collar, leashes and bags. What more could a dog want than to live the celebrity life?

What do our dogs truly want in life? All dogs, from the smallest pocket yorkie to the large Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound they all want companionship. First and foremost a dog wants a pack, whether that pack consists of one person or a bunch of people and other dogs a dog needs a place to belong. A dog without a pack is a dog who is constantly searching. Take for instance a stray dog, a stray dog is usually not alone for long. They will quickly hook up with another stray and then they are a pack.

Next a dog wants food/water and shelter, that's a given. It is our job to find the best nutritional food that we can offer to keep our dogs as healthy as possible. This may require alot of research and some extra work but that is our job as a volunteer canine guardian. Fresh water daily, oh and ice cubes are an extra bonus (Luke's request).

Next is shelter, shelter can come in many forms from a bridge overhead to protect them from the elements to a gorgeous beach house in Maui, shelter is shelter. Believe it or not a dog does not see the difference between a tiny 900 square foot home to a 10,000 sq foot home, home is where their pack lives.

Shelter also encompasses sleeping quarters. A dogs place to sleep should be a comfortable one, I'm often amazed at how some people think dogs should not want comfort. A dog's body feels pain and comfort like us, so they sure know the differentce between sleeping on a concrete surface versus a bed. Comfort can be in the form of an old blanket, a pile of leaves or a high end embroidered bed, comfort is comfort.

So what about all those clothes, fancy collars and leashes? These items are all purchased for our own satisfaction. Dogs come out with only the coat on their back, they don't need a wardrobe. They also do not need and do not appreciate an expensive rhinestone collar or glamorous leash, again that's strictly for our benefit. There are some dogs of course that do need a coat, those hairless dogs that don't own of their own coat or the very minimally coated dogs in the winter.

The greatest gift you can give your dog is yourself, your time, your guidance, your compassion and your protection.

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