|Doing his Lion king impression.|
|He was quite popular at the parks.|
I am not necessarily going to take a stance on how a dog should be raised, and what type of relationship should be groomed in the process because there are evident factors in each case that will determine how an individual chooses to interact with their pet. The differences with which people approach such a matter could be debated ad nauseam without resolution, and to me it is a rather moot point holding very little worth in debate in the first place. That is until something happens to your four legged friend.
Maybe we do not dwell on a pet's life expectancy when we engage in the selection process, but on some level we weigh the excitement of a new addition to the family and the memories to be created with the inevitable truth that we will have to say goodbye at some point.
My experience was one I would have trouble fully capturing in words in a blog. My first dog, Trip, was, like most dogs, a loyal companion. What distinguished Trip from the other canines I have encountered was his unique ability to calm your soul with a unabashed joy and excitement, draw you in with his expressive eyes, and steal your heart within moments of meeting him. Since his passing, a number of people have reminded me of the fear of or distaste in dogs they once harbored. They had somewhat different stories, but they were all connected by the bond they made with Trip.
Trip had it all. He was a rugged explorer, a goofy klutz, a superior snuggler, and a loyal buddy. People have recently mentioned how lucky he was to have had me as an owner, but I can't help but look at it the other way around. It wasn't about what I was able to do for him. It was about what he did for me on a daily basis. This may sound melodramatic, but their are specific points in my life when I could not have imagined where I would have been without him. I am not the same person I would have been had I not had that dog in my life, and it is definitely all for the better.