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Editor's column: Foug-legged BFFs

Who says your best friend has to be a human being?

June 8, 2013
Marshall Independent

I spent $120 on a vet bill for one of my dogs last week. As for my own health, I haven't spent that much in the last 10 years total.

If you're a dog person, you'll get this. If you're a cat person, you'll probably sympathize, too. If you don't like either, might as well stop reading and go feed your fish.

I've lived on the family farm for 18 years and have had at least one golden retriever out there with me for all of them. I don't have a problem seeing wives come and go, but the goldens stay.

Enough about me.

A couple weeks ago, my golden and my sister's spaniel took off to do a little exploring - about two day's worth to be exact. When Goldie finally returned she was a different dog. Not wanting to believe something bad had happened to her I told myself she'll get better with some rest and will be allright.

I was wrong.

Turns out, she needed veterinary care, so my brother-in-law, nephew and daughter brought the dogs to the vet where it was discovered Goldie got had a battle with a car and lost. It also looked like she tangled with a 'coon or two.

After forcing myself to get over the guilt I felt for not bringing her in myself, I turned my attention to her and spoiling her as much as possible. Apparently, dogs don't like being hit by cars anymore than people do, so she was laid up for a while. After days of feeding her painkillers-in-a-blanket (pills wrapped in bologna), she started to come out of her fog and has since somewhat returned to her old self, although she now moves more like a 14-year-old dog than a 7-year-old.

For pet lovers, you can relate to what I'm about to say. When you get a pet, you become a parent. You worry about your pet. You comfort your pet. You teach your pet. You play with your pet. Why? Because your pet does the exact same things for you, and because he or she becomes a member of your family from the minute you pick it up from the breeder, or the vet if it's a rescue dog/cat.

Having a pet can fill a void in your life, and once that pet is gone that void returns and must be refilled. There comes a point where you can't imagine your life without your pet, and once you hit that point there's no turning back. Ever. You carry photos of your pet in your wallet or purse. You have pictures of it on your desk and on the walls of your home. You take it with you on trips. You brag about it. Oh, and you don't call it an "it," either - it's "he" or "she" or his or her name.

You would think the only thing pets can't do is communicate with you, but in so many ways, they really do - you just have to look for it: the twinkle in their eyes, that expression on their face you'd swear is a smile, the tail that wags so hard and so fast it could power a small boat or sweep a small area of your garage floor clear of dust and dirt.

Having a dog is like having a BFF (you might know them as Man's Best Friend). Not only can you trust that they will stick with you through thick and thin, you can tell them anything and you know they won't repeat it.

They might not have the staying power of humans, but our pets are kind of our children, as well as being our friend. And believe me, when you're the editor of a newspaper, you can use all the friends you can get.

$120? Money well-spent.



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