A dog's life
A dog's life; this statement is meant as a purely positive one. Must be nice; the life of leisure. Oh to be a dog. It would be wonderful if that is what it meant for all dogs as well. Right now my guys are all curled up in bed with me; they've had their share of breakfast in bed and now are somewhere doing fun dog things in their dreams. Not all dogs have the dog's life as it is by definition, understood as "you lucky dog." On the contrary; far too many dogs lead a sad and lonely life.
Dogs are pack animals; even though there is alot of studying going on at the moment trying to debunk this fact. Being followed around the house from room to room is enough proof to me that dogs are indeed pack animals. Dogs love nothing more than to just hang out with you. Have you ever sat watching a sunset; crackling fire or rippling water with your dog at your side? How wonderful is it? It is pretty great; some of the best moments are the fleeting ones spent quietly enjoying life with your dog by your side. The sheer enjoyment of sitting next to your canine companion is immeasurable.
So what of the dogs that never get to spend time beside their guardian? The dogs tied to a doghouse out back, left in the garage or backyard? These dogs miss out on the good things; yes they miss out on "the dog's life." It always leaves me confused when people tell me that there dog is not allowed in the house. Why on earth would you ever get a dog if it doesn't live with you? It just makes no sense; get a dog and put it in the backyard with the patio furniture. "There; we have a dog."
Dogs belong in a family; if you want a dog for your backyard, then there are some wonderful dog statues I've seen at the outdoor stores recently. They look very real and have no desire to be your best friend; have a look a one. You need to ask yourself; why do I want a dog that will live in the yard or garage? What purpose does this animal fill in your life? What good do you bring to the canine in your yard? Do you somehow enrich this dogs life? Even if you go out and play with the dog every so often; it's not enough. Dogs need to live with us.
That does not mean that you need to spend every waking minute of the day actually doing something with your dog; you don't do that with your human family. Sure you want to make sure that your dog gets out everyday; a great walk where they can be their doggy self. But much of daily life with dogs is simply chill'n. Just hanging out together; enjoying each other's company. If I am working then my dogs are all in "the office" beds. When I get up and go outside; everyone goes outside. We sit on the double lounge; listen to the birds, catch lizards (not me) and basically enjoy the company of each other.
How do you explain life with dogs? There are many words to describe the coexistence of a canine and a human but if you don't "get it," it can be lost to a human. Dogs belong with us; living in a yard is no place for any dog. I often hear breeders stating that "this breed must live with the family; you cannot leave this breed in the backyard alone." No breed or mix should ever live a life alone; it's just not right. Every dog deserves to live a dog's life.
I wrote an article on this subject six years ago for Pets Quarterly in Canada. Read it here; it starts on page 10