The many shapes of fur
There it was on February 20, a random post on Facebook.
Who knew there was a National Love Your Pet Day?
No one told me, and I had no celebration planned for my girl. No special treats or colorful hats were procured, and I felt bad about it until today when I saw another random post proclaiming today, National Toast Day.
Do we really need all these special days to love our dogs and toast?
Of course, my little fur-baby is the best, and deserves loads of love and attention every day because she is the best.
But, as constant Facebook posts confirm, most dog owners think they have the best dog.
So, all this made me wonder what exactly is the best breed of dog, and do I have it, like I think I do?
Is there even an answer to this question?
After many years of being without a dog (cats, yes), there came a day in 2007 when my heart told me it was time to cast an eye in the general direct of a canine. I had to have a dog, and a move to South Florida from Ohio made it seem all the more perfect.
My last dog had been a Lhasa Apso, named Pasha. She was a beautiful girl, and I loved her dearly.
However, I failed her when it came to training and knowing what she needed to be the best she could be.
This time, I promised myself and my patient spouse, would be different.
So, turning to a trusted friend who was armed with scads of animal care information, the research began.
Digging into the world of canines quickly made my head spin. There was so much to learn, but I knew the world of owning a dog had changed vastly since my days with Pasha.
The changes were for the better, it was obvious. So many excellent tools and products were available.
So, I pared it all down to what I felt would work in my world.
Whether you have a rescue, mutt,
large dog, tiny dog, short-hair,
long-hair, long legs, short legs...
they are all the best if we give them our best.
I wanted a puppy that was similar to my lifestyle. This meant being mostly calm and fairly easy to train. If you want to call it low maintenance, fine.
As I drilled into mounds of data on all breeds, my trusted friend, who knows me well, carefully guided me toward a breed I have come to love and cherish.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
After months of dedicated study, I was fully armed with the knowledge that these lovable creatures had much to give. However, in addition to the boundless love and companionship they offer, the potential for serious health issues are very real.
Pressing on, this time I was determined to give my four-legged beauty all that I had. I read everything I could find, hardback books and on-line data about the breed. Everything about effective and gentle methods of dog training, care and health, filled my head.
Taking that leap of faith has proven to be an indescrible, almost nine-year, adventure of pure joy.
So when I read of someone complaining, saying they don't understand why their Cavalier just wants to constantly be with them, I am astonished. Yes, they do want to be with you. Historically, this was what they did. They were the dogs of royalty. True lap dogs. Mine still thinks she is a lap dog, even though she overflows it a bit.
As a young girl with that beautiful Lhasa Apso, I was clueless, so I understand how it happens to people and pets.
That day, long ago, I walked into a home and picked out the cutest puppy and headed home, completely unarmed with facts about how to have a happy dog.
I learned my lesson.
I also learned that people will judge you, harshly, if you don't rescue a dog. My darling girl came to me via a lovely woman who had the mother and father as beloved family pets. They had one litter a year.
I also discovered that professionals can judge you harshly.
When our sweet Blenheim, only a few months old, had a serious health scare, the veterinarian specialist looked at my tear-stained face with an icy stare and said, "Why in the world would you get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?"
Fortunately, a more caring specialist at the facility deemed our girl fit, and the scare was just that. Our Cavi was fine. At the time, I was too stunned and emotional to tell that unbelieveably harsh Vet, why I got my Cavalier.
Was it because she has the sweetest face, the most expressive eyes, the kindest and most gentle nature, loves everyone, barks at animals on the television, wags her tail with abandon when she sees me, is a glutton and loves treats more than anything in the world?
Yes, all that and more.
There is absolutely no answer to what is the best breed of dog.
Whether you have a rescue, mutt, large dog, tiny dog, short-hair, long-hair, long legs, short legs...they are all the best if we give them our best.
My Cavi, is the best breed in the world.
For me. --Pam
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