Today Casou might be sick. I'm off to the vet in a bit. When I consider the very idea that he might be in pain or sick, I feel responsible and caring and even a little sick myself. I have no idea why I love him like I do; I just do. I've been a "dog person" my whole life. Lotsa dogs. Lotsa lotsa dogs. And I've never loved a dog like I love Casou. That said, why do we own pets?
1. Unconditional love. Well, dogs do give us that. Yep, they do.
2. Responsibility -- keeping a schedule, making the house and environs safe. Casou actually keeps me from a life of forgetfulness and self-absortion. He checks my ego at the doggie door.
3. Patience -- when a dog "errs," the fault (99%) is the human's. Don't lose temper. Don't yell. Don't hit. Don't punish. Rethink where you put those old socks, those cupcakes.
4. Exercise -- well, if we walked, Casou and I would be in the BEST shape! Wow!
5. One more reason on a long list for friends and family to check and discuss how I'm nuts. "She'll go completely crazy if anything ever happens to that dog."
6. Topic of conversation -- "How's your dog?" "What kennel do you recommend?" "What hotels accept pets?"
7. Joining a group of owners, thus meeting more people, building friendships. Or, just walking with your pet. People come up and make lovely comments like "What kind of dog? He's beautiful." My husband, who usually waits outside stores and holds Casou's leash, meets lots of pretty girls. I'd say Casou is definitely a chick magnet.
8. Entertainment for the grandkids. How many times can they race around the room? Duh.
9. A valid reason to stay home, miss the party, avoid the buffet, or at least leave early. Okay, a good excuse. "But we can't bring the dog..." or "Ooos, gotta get home and feed the dog."
10. Some people clear their refrigerator and table of leftovers by owning a pet. Casou doesn't eat "people food," but some dogs or owners...
11. Companionship. Casou likes to hang out with me while I work. He's comforting and quiet. He knows how to support this writer.
12. A live reminder that we are connected to the earth and not necessarily masters of the universe.
13. A good sounding board -- I can say ANYTHING to Casou and he never tells. He cocks his head, listens, and usually smiles. He's great for brainstorming plot points.