Me & My Dog, Rascal.

Ever since I can remember, dogs have been a part of my life. So when I first saw previews for the movie: “A Dog’s Purpose,” I knew I would be there to watch it when it came out. There have been so many dog movies that have touched my heart over the years beginning with movies like “Old Yeller” and “Where the Red Fern Grows.” More recently “Marley and Me” and “Hachi” just to name a few, have touched the hearts of so many. If such movies fail to touch your heart, I begin to wonder if you have one. 

A Dog’s Purpose, is another movie that captures the bond between humans and their canine buddies. They make everyone want to run out right away and impulsively buy a dog, but the real bound between a human and a pet is not quite as simple as in the movies. 

As a person who has been touched by the love of a dog a number of times in my life, I find it incredibly sad to see how they are so often mistreated. They are not just a possession in which you bring them out when you are want to use them and then push them out when it becomes inconvenient. Dogs are living beings with personality, emotions, and pain just like us. If you don’t think so, you have not been around them enough. 

I have watched dogs lay their life down to protect their owner, I have watched them greive as their own died from cancer, I have watched the celebration when their owner comes home, I have watched them comfort the downhearted and they way they try to cheer those who are sad or mad. In many ways I think their love exceeds that which I have experienced from humans. Dogs experience fear, loneliness, happiness, depression, anger, etc. But there is one trait that has become synomous  with dogs: LOYALTY. 

Dogs as are different from each other as humans are different from each other. Some live to play catch, others will jump into water the first chance they get. Some chase birds, others chase bad guys, but they are all some of the most fun loving compassionate and helpful animals on earth. They have served humans throughout the ages as loyal companions and they are entitled to a certain level of respect. People who do not have the time to get to know their dogs or the desire to be with their dogs should simply not own dogs. Dogs are pack animals. They are not like cats. They live for companionship. It is CRUEL and NEGLECTFUL to get a dog and stick them out in the backyard on some chain where they spend their days just begging for some attention. If you insist upon an outside dog at least give it a companion to be with outside. How would you like to be stuck outside in the cold or heat all alone for long periods of time? The dog of course will live with whatever attention you are willing to give, but you are being cruel and you’ll never be able to experience the blessings your pet can give. 

The problem with movies is that they are so unrealistic. Now there is a realistic element to them, but it is far from real life. Dog movies do a great job at showing the incredible relationship people form with a pet. What they don’t show is the time, sacrifice, and frustration that are all part of the process. You don’t bring a dog like Lassie home from breeder. They don’t instantly come when they are called.  

Owning a dog takes sacrifice. The don’t come potty-trained. They are super hyper, they chew up everything, they shed hair all over, and they even stink. They need time, money, and attention. They depend on us for their survival and well-being. But they give us so much in return. 

The country song, Like my dog by Billy Currington is a funny song, but it also true. Dogs love us in so many ways. They are overjoyed when we get home. They comfort us when we are sad. They leave us along when we’re mad. And they forgive us when we are bad. 

My dog is getting old now. We’ve spent a lot of time together over the years. We’ve explored cemeteries, gone joking, hiking, fishing, swimming and just plain hung out together. He’s a big part of my life and a dread the day when he passes away. I’ve had many other dogs. Some I couldn’t take care of right just because my situations in life. But Rascal has been around for a long time. I doubt if I will have another. 

The first dog I had when Paula and I first got married was named Maynard. I got him when I he was a puppy and I spent a lot of time training him. Still I couldn’t stop him from jumping through the window when the trash men came by, or from chewing up the couch, or getting out of the yard. My wife made me get rid of him after he tore up the baby’s picture book. But it is amazing how much Rascal is just like Maynard. They look alike, act alike, and shed alike. The difference is we stuck it out with Rascal and I am so glad we did. It hasn’t always been easy. But it has been worth it.  


About Ken Sayers

I’m just a man on a journey somewhere between Heaven and Hell. I seek acceptance and meaning in life just like everyone else.
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