Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More Than Just a Wagging Tail

by Kirsten Amor | March 8, 2022

Looking into its cute eyes, holding its furry body, letting its wet nose kiss you — I’m pretty sure most of us have felt the excitement of getting a new puppy. You play with it day and night, even let it sleep on your bed. But what most people don’t know is that puppies grow up. In six months, its quirky personality will change to being the spawn of the demon. You will be dealing with one of the most difficult behaviors that can honestly frustrate you. And it is at this age where these once-puppies are brought back to where they were taken from, or worse, left to fend for themselves on the streets. What most people don’t realize is that puppies are not just gifts that you can give and play with for a few months, they are angels that need love, attention, and patience.

Dogs are undeniably (and I am ready to fight you on this) the cutest, heart-warming, and precious creatures that have ever walked this planet. When you get a dog, you will come to understand the meaning of unconditional love. When you become a dog’s favorite human, trust me, it will be the biggest flex you can have. They will follow you everywhere, jump on you excitedly when you get home, and give you precious kisses and licks reminding you of how important you are to them. With dogs, you have a companion that will never judge you and love you for who you are. Dogs can also become your best furry friend. They are there to listen to you (even if they don’t understand you), comfort you, and cheer you up. Most notably, they will invade your privacy, in a good way so say goodbye to personal space when you have a smiling face following you wherever you go.

I can still vividly recall how I would play with our family dogs at the young age of six. I had so much fun running around with them, petting their heads, and giving them belly rubs. But I was too young to understand that they are just like humans who needed to be fed, given water, and be socialized. It was just until a few years ago when I got three rottweilers within the span of three years that I realized how much work and effort you have to put in to keep these big dogs entertained. It dawned on me how hard it was, and it made me think of how many people were once in my shoes. How many people had the patience to deal with this and how many gave up? Before making the decision, my million-dollar question for you is: are you really capable of getting a dog?

What I believe someone should consider before deciding to get a dog is how committed you will be. Taking care of a dog can be draining — physically, emotionally, and financially. Young dogs require so much work physically. They need to expel their overflowing energy, so you need to play with them. You need to devote hours of work to make sure they are sufficiently exercised and socialized. While I’ve mentioned that dogs can lift up anyone’s mood, they can sometimes do the opposite to you. As dogs require attention, it can be quite challenging on your part to keep up with them. They can be too much for you to handle, hence their toll on you emotionally. Additionally, dogs can also stonk the bank (hahaha). Dog food, vitamins, toys, and whatnots can cost you thousands every month, not to mention that veterinary trips are also needed for them, especially when these babies get sick. What I’ve said are just some warnings I can find on the top of my head, but there are more that come with the package of four paws. I am not writing this to discourage you from getting dogs, but I am simply just informing others of what I learned the hard way.

While we’re on the subject, I want to impart to you to adopt and not shop for dogs. Yes, it’s cute to have a fluffy golden retriever or a blue-eyed husky, but please keep in mind that our local dogs are just as cute, loyal, and loving as other breeds. The city has a never-ending problem of a growing population of stray dogs. We have a local dog shelter, Dumaguete Animal Sanctuary, that takes in sick stray dogs and take care of them until they are ready for adoption. If you have the heart, please do pay them a visit in hopes that you may find your little angel there. If you are unable to adopt, you can support their cause by spreading the word and you may give them monetary assistance as they rely on the public’s support to help them stay afloat.

Remember, a dog’s life does not stop after a year, they can live for twelve years or more. You have to maintain the patience and dedication to take care of these dogs because you mean the world to them. You might have a lot of friends to mingle with, but dogs only have you. We owe it to them to make them feel important and make their limited time here with us memorable. They are more than just house guards, protectors, confidants, and best friends. Most importantly, they are family — and they are more than just a wagging tail.

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