Hey! We all have stress and worries and life frequently gets very complicated and difficult. All of us need a very long vacation. But for most, even if we get some time off, it will be more stressful than work. Most of the world’s population is caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.”
But if you have a dog that loves you and obeys you, as almost all dogs do, you are lucky and blessed. A dog is a daily retreat that always brings us back to childhood, fun and innocence. Some people prefer other pets, but a dog is better than any. They are like children who never argue, are always on our side, and whose greatest desire is to do whatever we are doing with us. — We are their true Masters.
For the last 14 years, Woody Dog, has been my best friend. I know that he has kept me alive longer and healthier. As all dogs, mine likes to walk; and, we have averaged more than a mile a day. Quite often, we have walked 5 miles, and we have spent 10 miles together at least 100 times. — Almost every step that having my dog has gotten me to walk is a step I never would have taken without him. — I weigh less and my entire body is healthier because of my dog. And I have enjoyed my life far more than I could have because of the dogs in my life.
Prairie Dog, my companion between the ages of 18 and 28, saved me and my family from dangerous intruders twice. I think we would have been killed if not for his desire to defend us with his life.
Oddly, my wife predicted the first invasion. – We had just gotten married and we were shopping the rummage stores on the side streets of Santa Barbara. We purchased some beautiful 1930’s furniture that the store owner had just gotten as the result of a death. – We had just moved to town and did not have a bank account yet. So I paid the proprietor in cash. It was several hundred dollars. And there were more large bills left in the open crevice of my wallet that the burly shopkeeper could see. – After we got in the car and drove away, my wife said, “That man is going to come to our house and rob us tonight. I could see it in his eyes.” – Of course, I laughed and told her that she was crazy.
But the next morning, at about 3 AM, Prairie Dog began barking in a way I had never heard before. He was threatening to kill someone. His message was very clear and unmistakable: “If you come into this house you will die!” – Prairie was some kind of beautiful mixture of a Basset Hound, Terrier and Cocker Spaniel. He weighed about 15 pounds. The police told us that the size 13 shoe print was of a man that was probably over 6 feet and 200 lbs. – That described our salesman. And my wife never let me forget it.
Years later, we moved to San Clemente. We had a baby now. I was worried that her room was much closer to the front door than the Master bedroom. – As husband and father, my last detail every night was security check. I did not like having my child at the front and us in the rear, in this new apartment. It was in the “skid row” area of town. – I was disabled and hobbled with leg and skull injuries. I was going to seminary at nights. And I was looking for a job. We were very poor.
Then again, I was awakened by Prairie Dog barking with the most terrible voice that he could create. –At first, I was terrified. Someone was savagely attacking our heavy front door and trying to break it off its hinges! I did not want to limp down the hallway without a weapon and face this insane intruder. Momentarily, I froze. Then my sense of duty arose within me. My wife was awake next to me and frozen with fear. It was my job as husband and father to take action.
I got out of bed on a leg swollen 3xs its size and walked down the hallway, past our sleeping baby’s room, to the livingroom. Someone was attacking our front door with a heavy, metal crowbar! And Prairie Dog was standing in front of the door, with every muscle taut, as brave a brave can be, once again telling the man on the other side in no uncertain terms: “”I will kill you if come any further!” – At last, through the loud sounds of breaking wood, the criminal heard my dog and ran off. – Our lives were safe.
And Woody Dog has also defended us from wild animals as we have walked through woods. And insistently growled at things we never saw in the middle of nights. – But most of all he has loved us. Yes, my dogs throughout my life have kept me alive and healthier in many ways.
I have had 4 dogs. Two were from a “puppy farm.” They died a horrible death soon after I brought them home. – Distemper, Parvo and now AIDS are rampant in the puppy mills that supply pet stores. – The two dogs that became my best friends came from Rescue shelters run by the county.
For US veterans, especially those with PTSD, I recommend getting a dog. – And to anyone else, I also encourage you to save the life of a dog at your local animal shelter. It may save yours too, many times over.
YouTube video of me and my dog Woody: