I find it interesting how people often refer to their dog as their “furbaby” or “furchild” and themselves as their dog’s “mom” or “dad.” Brèagha is a dog. Her mother was a dog. I am not a dog, so I am most definitely not her mother. In order to fully appreciate and understand our dogs, we must think of them as dogs, (not children,) and we must expect them to behave like dogs because they are dogs. It’s unfair to expect them to be anything else. It doesn’t mean we love them less. Dogs are my heart and soul, I am hopelessly in love with them. But I realize how important to my relationship with them it is to be realistic see them and appreciate them for what they are.
If dogs thought like humans, it wouldn’t be the same. Some people say, “my dog is the only one who understands me.” Rubbish. Dogs are incapable of understanding us. They are oblivious to how complicated our lives are. They don’t understand half of the things we do. And they are unable to see our many flaws or judge us for them. How refreshing to spend time with a creature with whom we can let go and don’t have to be self conscious. To me, hanging out by myself with the dogs is a perfect place between being alone and being with another human being. I have company but I don’t feel like I have to watch myself or be careful what I say and how I say it. I don’t have to say anything. We simply enjoy being in each other’s company without a care in the world. Not to say this is a substitute for interaction with other humans, but it makes a nice change from it.
But I digress. If I am not a dog “mom,” than what am I? I don’t like the term “owner.” I own my shoes. I hope to own a nice piece of land some day. I do not own Brèagha. She is a friend. But more than that. I am not responsible for every aspect of my friends’ emotional and physical wellbeing, as I am for hers.
Perhaps the term “guardian” would be more fitting. It implies responsibility without implying that I am related to her. I like it.
Here’s to all us dog guardians and our beautiful dogs.