Not just for Christmas!

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Like a lot of people, I’ve had all kinds of dogs during my life…  

I often wonder what makes dog owners actually choose the breeds they do? Some people love their dogs as a member of the family, some people look at their dog as a tool to do a particular task or job, and some people well, they actually think of them and treat them like their children. I’ve even wondered why some people actually bother owning dogs at all?  

Many unfortunate mutts seem to be treated simply a fashion accessory, or some kind of symbol and endorsement of their owners machismo and street cred factor! Take Paris Hilton and her stupid handbag dog, or some spotty Chav so-called Hardman and his Pitbull Terrier as examples.  

Why someone would want to wander around carrying a sodding Chihuahua defeats me and, most of the Chavs should actually be banned from keeping any kind of dog in the first place! Although there is the old addage about dogs and their owners looking alike/similar I suppose, could that be the relevant factor? Come to think of it, MS Hilton could easily change her name by deed poll to Paris Chihuahua!  

Abolishing the dog licence system was one of the worst UK government cock ups of recent years. If anything licensing should have been made more strict, they should have actually introduced a test process, possibly even including a probationary period, just to ensure that people who have dogs are capable and responsible owners. Both for the sake of the dog and society!  

I suppose the ownership of animals as pets (as opposed to food source) is nothing new really… The Ancient Egyptians were devoted to their animals (in particular cats), they even had a cat goddess called Bastet. And, the use of dogs as hunting or roundup tools is probably just as traditional as Chinese Cormorant fishing

The latest (and probably the last) dog which I have owned is a Rottweiler. I say ‘owned’ because you can actually ‘own’ a dog, unlike a cat which by UK legal definition is; ‘a creature of habbit’ and, never actually owned by anyone! Ask any cat owning woman (see previous post), although she probably won’t agree? A dog is more loyal, a dog will rely upon you and, a dog will provide you with companionship, friendship, service and love… So long as you feed it, train it and look after it correctly. A cat will always do its own thing and, if you don’t feed it… A moggie will piss off and find somewhere else to live!  

Dog Fact File: (1) It is generally accepted that the common ancestor of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is the wolf. (2) Domestication of the dog began around 15,000 years ago and during this process, humans selected for particularly desirable traits such as coat colour and leg length. (3) Looking at the world from a dog’s point of view can help you to understand your pet better, so check out our top ten dog facts! (Source RSPCA

I didn’t purchase a Rotti as a fashion accessory, I’d be worn out carrying her around in a bloody Burberry shoulder bag. And, I certainly didn’t obtain her to make me look or feel like a Hardman. My thespian days of trying to portray some kind of Dickensian underworld rogue called ‘Bill’ are long gone, even if it only ever happened in more modern-day covert circumstances. Our (my) Rottweiler started out her life with us (me) as a rescued dog, one of those poor unfortunate animals that, through no fault of their own usually, has found itself living at the pound. Cared for but in some ways unloved (due to financial/time constraints), housed but not homed and awaiting someone to make it part of a family again.  

Many dogs find themself in that situation simply because of previous owners; people who were unwilling (or incapable) of caring for the animal properly any more. In many respects, we were fortunate that our new four-legged friend found herself in those circumstances because of her previous owners’ marriage break up. She hadn’t been abandoned, she hadn’t been abused and despite her advancing years was relatively healthy, thanks to the RSPCA.  

It’s so annoying that charities like the RSPCA have to exist but thankfully they do. In addition there are all manner of animal rescue service, either breed specific and run by volunteers or other animal charities like The Dogs Trust. There are also many independent kennels that work on a voluntary basis, simply as a service for animals. So many animals would suffer if not for these organisations and their people.

As I look down at the now frail old girl who as ever is looking up at me, I can see from her eyes our time together is probably approaching the end. I will miss her so much when she goes! Next time you think about buying a dog remember; dogs have needs, dogs have feelings and dogs deserved to be treated right. As we move towards that time of year again remember the old advert; “A dog is not just for Christmas!”

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