At different points they could express happiness, sadness, loneliness, excitement and even anxiety. Dogs are also very intelligent creatures that know and understand what is going on around them. One of our dogs could tell we would be going on vacation whenever we brought out our suitcases and would start sulking a day in advance. It must be appreciated that dogs are smart and emotional beings.
Research into the gastrointestinal health of dogs has revealed their microbial populations are quite different from ours. However, being mammals, their microbial populations develop in the same way as us. This also means they can benefit from a selection of bacterial species known to convey a health benefit otherwise known as probiotics.
While there may be rescued pets that fit seamlessly into their new families, every rescue I've loved has had issues. Romeo, Gabe, and Annie had aggression issues. Archie had house training, fear, and anxiety issues. None of these guys had any leash manners. Buddy wore a belly band 24/7 because he was incontinent. And you know what? I couldn't have loved any of them any more than I did.
The theory goes that black, especially big, dogs are far less likely to be adopted. Some shelters even train black dogs in their care to do special tricks, give them backstories, and ensure that they are well-trained to make them more appealing. But sadly it's often to no avail. What's the reason for this, and what can be done?
The term "pet parenting" has been on the rise for the past few years. But what does it mean to be a "pet parent" -- beyond occasionally having the urge to put your pug in a Baby Bjorn? It is obvious that all pet owners show some level of attachment to their animal companions but could being a "pet parent" also mean that you truly love your dog, perhaps even as much as you might love your child?
Food and shelter: that's what the canine gets in return for the love and companionship they bestow upon their humans, right? Food in their dish, a cozy place to sleep, and for that they'll spend their relatively short life spans waiting at our feet to give us the cuddles and unconditional affection we so need. Or so we thought.
For anyone who's lost a pet, the heartache is significant and can last a long time. Feelings of grief can cause mental distraction, loss of appetite, bouts of extreme sadness and even lasting depression. Why, then, are we expected to get back to work after the loss of a pet without being allowed to take time off?
They deserve the same kind of care and love and attention we crave ourselves. Obviously we have to go out and earn a living and have fun with friends and family. But when we are at home, we have to spend quality time with our fur babies, whether it's petting and talking to them, playing with them or taking them for long walks.
This is death. This is the heartbreak that inevitably comes for all of us when we open our hearts to receive love from another sentient being. From someone we showered with affection from the moment we first met. From someone who shared so much of our joys, sorrows, and laughter, and was ever supportive of us, unconditionally. From someone who we will miss with every fibre of our being from this moment on.