I am your dog
Author J.D. Ellis
I am your dog, and I have a little something I’d like to whisper in your ear.
I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and running there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.
Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The grey hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a sprit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?
That is all I ask: To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.
So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.
I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just “one more day” with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.
We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as “alpha” or as “trainer” or even “Mom or Dad,” come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another’s eyes and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself or even life in general.
You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a “Dog on two feet”- I know what you are and who you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still. Now, come; sit with me on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper into my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy, and I will know your true self.
We may not have tomorrow, but we do have today, and life is oh so very short. So please- come sit with me now and let us share these precious moments we have together.
Letter From A Puppy
Dear Mom and/or Dad,
I am a Puppy, This means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child.
I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world.
Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.
I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1-2 hours. I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6-9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a Puppy it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, Playing, Drinking and around every 2-3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8pm. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me. I am a puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.
I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzzballs, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get to rough simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.
I am Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beaten. Instead, please guide me with encouragement, and wisdom. (For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew) better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.
I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings, and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.
I am a puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I Love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics" it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do the things I do. Please teach me with love, and patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.
I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs. Someday I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.
(2000 J. Ellis- Southern Shadows Rottweilers)