In my second life, I want to come back as a dog.
Crazy, you say? Well, I’ve been called worse. Some dogs do have it rough, and I am doing my part by donating to the Humane Society when I can.
Like people, some dogs are homeless, but at least there are angels who pick up as many canines as they can and take them to a safe environment. From there, they can be adopted as a rescue dog. They go to good homes, have their own bed, are fed on a regular basis and, most of all, they are loved.
Humans who are homeless have to survive as best they can on their own. There are shelters in place and soup kitchens available but, to my knowledge, there are usually not enough beds or food to go around.
Maybe that’s something we can all do as our next “project.” Give more to help expand shelters. Besides cash, I am sure they would accept donations such as bed linens, towels, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and various other necessities. We can all pick up extra canned vegetables when we go to the store and donate them to the local food bank. You’d be surprised at the satisfaction you feel.
Most dogs are picked as family pets, and soon become members of the family itself. There is nothing like seeing a child bond with the family dog. They would do anything for each other. The dog gets to sleep in the child’s bed (sometimes) and the child has something to snuggle up with at night besides a stuffed animal who doesn’t even give you kisses goodnight.
This bond becomes closer as they both age, especially for the animal. Heaven help the person who might try and harm the dog’s master.
Once the dog is established as part of the family, he lives like a king. Sleeping whenever and wherever he wants, getting fed on a regular basis, getting treats throughout the day just for being a good dog. They are loved and love back unconditionally.
This is why I want to come back as the family dog. They are never given chores, are never reprimanded for not cleaning their plate, are almost always in some one’s lap being petted or scratched and are exercised daily but not in the way humans exercise. They love fetching things; balls, frisbees, sticks and whatever else can be considered toys.
During the 42 years Jay and I were married, we had a total of eight dogs and only paid for one. It seemed as though everyone in Columbia County knew the Fickles’ back yard was the place to discard unwanted animals, and we took all of them in.
I cannot even begin to name my favorite. Right now, of course, it’s Sandy. She showed up at our back door in January of 2000, helped me through the death of Jay and all of my back surgeries. I truly don’t know what I’d do without her.
If you’re thinking about getting a dog, the best ones are rescue dogs. They seem to appreciate your home more than a pedigree you paid an arm and a leg for.
Trust me; I’ve had plenty of experience.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)