Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Jan. 28

Saying goodbye to our dogs is never easy

Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows the pain of saying "goodbye." If we get them as a puppy we usually have 10 years or more to love and care for them. But, even if they live more than a decade, the loss is no less difficult.

Sister and I have adopted senior dogs over the past several years. Not only because they are so hard to place, but because we do not want to worry about who will care for them after we are gone.

I personally have always been suspicious of people who don't like dogs. At the same time, I am also suspicious of anyone who my dog doesn't like. Each and every time I have to say goodbye, I tell myself, NO MORE! It is just too painful. But alas, I cannot go more than a day or two, and I am checking the rescues on line.

This love of dogs and all living creatures is inherited. When Sister and I were children we saw how our mother tried to save dogs. There were a lot of strays around and not many people willing to take them in.

Our mom would whistle loudly, and all the dogs would come running. She would open our garage door, and they would run inside. This ritual was always done when the dogcatcher was in the neighborhood. When the coast was clear she would open the door, and the dogs would leave.

I still don't know how she knew when it was time to call the dogs. Maybe she had some kind of network going on with others in our neighborhood. In any case, dogs were always a part of our life.

There is just a pureness of heart in all dogs. Sadly, even those who mistreat these beautiful creatures will often still be rewarded with undying love and loyalty.

I remember many years ago when I tried to convince people that those who abuse an animal can just as easily abuse a person. It takes a certain lack of empathy to take advantage of a person or animal who is loyal to you. Needless to say, I have no use for anyone who abuses any animal or person. No excuse is acceptable.

That being said, I am always amazed at the things that our four-legged friends can do. Everything from sniffing out drugs and bombs, as well as providing many services for the disabled. How many times have you seen a dog on the news that is a hero? Perhaps they saved a public servant from harm or gave their life to protect their handler? This is the kind of loyalty that these creatures all possess. We can all learn from them.

Kingman does not appear to be the kindest place toward its animals. Sometimes it is a matter of economics, but I will admit I would certainly go without feeding myself if my dog would have to go hungry.

We seem to have a large number of strays here. Perhaps that too comes from the inability to take care of their "alterations."

Do you know that an unaltered female dog can have a litter about every two months? Yikes! It is a lot like peddling backwards. You want to do the right thing and offer a home to a dog who needs one. Before you know it, and before you have had the time or money, she is having babies.

As long as there are too many animals, there will never be enough homes. Please do not be one of those folks who still believes that having “just one litter of puppies” is good for the temperament, or “we already have homes for the puppies." If you have homes for them, wouldn't it make a lot better sense to have THOSE homes take in one that is already here and has nowhere to go?

And as for breeders? Don't even get me started! They do love the money. Say all you want about protecting the breed. But in reality, that money does not get declared and no one is watching. Just imagine you own a purebred bulldog or one like that. Those puppies can go for upwards of $1,500 each. Not a bad number when not paying taxes on that income. Shame, shame.

I should probably close this up right now. I know there are certain things I do go on about. Just remember to be a good pet owner. Spay, neuter, and love your dog. They should be a family member and never take them for granted.

Their time with us is short, use it wisely.

(Goodbye, my beloved Timmy)

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