Author Joe Weinstein wrote: “My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $.99 a can. That’s almost $3.00 in dog money.” It’s a dog joke, of course, but if it weren’t for your dementia, I think you’d say, “Share some people food with your dog.”
We had several dogs while I was growing up, and on cold mornings I watched you make extra oatmeal for their breakfasts. And if there were boneless leftovers when we went out to eat, we seriously asked for a doggie bag. You also stirred in dry dog food to mix with the oatmeal and leftovers, and our dogs were happy and healthy.
October is ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH. I think the only dog we actually got from the shelter was Fritz. It was almost twenty-five years ago that Dad let his grandson, Nic, choose the puppy from the litter at the shelter, and he chose the furry little guy that wasn’t supposed to get very big. Boy, did Fritz surprise everyone! Fritz was your last dog, but you and Dad loved all our dogs and treated them well. Dad meant it when he said he didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t good to kids and dogs.
Our wonderful Maggie was abandoned in the back yard of a rental house, and our policeman son-in-law rescued her and gave us a call. She’d never traveled in a car when Jim and I brought her from Kansas to Colorado. It was one of the longest trips we’ve ever made. But now she happily rides along with us everywhere, and for more than 10 years she’s been a much-loved and always-included member of our family.
The tradition continues with your great-grandchildren, Mom. They live near Ft. Riley, and five years ago an unmarried soldier was being deployed and needed a loving home for his black German shepherd. Grace and Gannon–and their parents–answered the call, and Duchess became a delightful addition to their family.
Gandhi wrote: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” For anyone who wants to help but can’t take on a dog, October 27 is Make A Difference Day. Humane Societies, rescue groups and animal shelters always need donations of pet supplies, food and funds. November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month; this applies to older pets needing adoption, but also to pets of seniors who are ill or unable to care for their pets and need assurance that their beloved buddies will find good homes.
John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, said “A dog is the greatest gift a parent can give a child. OK, a good education…then a dog.”
Mom, my thanks to you and Dad for giving us the greatest gifts.