A Dog’s Purpose

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me well knows that I am an animal lover, especially when it comes to dogs.  For most of my childhood and adult life I have been a dog owner, and at one point in my late teens/early twenties that included three at one time.

I still remember as a young child begging my parents to buy me a dog, sighting all the compelling arguments for why we should get one (which of course included all the promises that kids make about walking and feeding them).  My brother and I eventually wore them down and soon we were picking out our new puppy.  She was such a sweet little dog who quickly became part of our family, but more importantly I became her favorite (along with my dad of course since as predicted he did end up walking and feeding her the most!)  When my parents separated in my late teens, I really didn’t care much at first where I lived so long as my dog was with me. Through several moves, and lots of ups and downs over the next few years, there she was right by my side, right up until the end of her life all the while making certain that I was right there by her side too.

The end came suddenly and unexpectedly the week before my wedding at which time her and I had already been settled in and living with my soon to be husband for close to a year (yes, in sin).  Mourning her loss was very difficult as any animal lover can attest to, but it was especially difficult trying to do so while celebrating my upcoming wedding and honeymoon.  After we settled back into reality upon our return home from our honeymoon, I felt such a void in my life and missed having her around so much.  Although I could never replace her, or any animal for that matter, I crave the kindness and love that comes from a dog, something that only a dog lover truly understands.

I soon began the search for a new puppy, but together my husband and I decided it was probably best to wait until we were no longer living in a Condo.  That time finally came for us to move into our brand new home, the moment I had waited for to get a new puppy had arrived, however, I was now eight months pregnant and on bed rest with our first baby.  As excited and grateful as I was to become a mom, it only made my yearning for a puppy that much stronger because I truly believe that every child should have a dog!!!

After we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into the world and I began recuperating from a C-Section, we were then met with some life threatening health scares with both my mom and my husband’s dad, both of which thankfully remedied themselves.  By now our son was already four months old and I had waited long enough so together the three of us picked out our new furry, four legged family member.  My husband really wanted a dog that was a little bigger than what we were both used to growing up, but I agreed.  The two babies quickly bonded, stealing each other’s food and toys and taking long naps together.  Two months after we brought our adorable new puppy home, we got the “surprise” of our life…I was expecting another baby.  Our new puppy was a breed that needed a lot of stimulation, way more than that of a smaller breed and so we made the heart-wrenching decision to give him back to his breeder.

At this point in time you are all probably thinking to yourself, I guess they decided to put off getting another puppy during this busy time in our lives, but who’s kidding who?  Dogs just serve too much of a purpose in life not to have one.  So while being very pregnant and running after a very, very mobile 11 months old (and anyone who knew him then will confirm this), I brought home another fluffy little ball of fur to once again join our growing family.

Our family eventually grew to three children and our puppy who was no longer a puppy had somehow turned into Cujo.  Who knew a dog that was all of ten pounds could be so vicious?  But he was, yet he still found his place in our family and my children still wanted to love him so badly, as difficult a feat as it was.  His behaviour began to turn my husband completely off the thought of ever wanting another dog again, but his grisly behaviour only made me want another dog even more.  By now, our once adorable, fluffy little ball of fur had become old and sick, making him become even more irritable.  I just wanted another puppy so much by now, one that my kids could play with or simply cuddle with, one that they deserved to love and one that deserved to be loved in return.

Seven years have almost passed since we did welcome that said puppy into our family (she turned seven last week).  It was Father’s Day and just a few days away from my 40th birthday when we brought her home and she was the greatest gift I could have ever asked for, even more than I knew at the time.  Although she can be a little bit feisty (or bitchy, whatever you want to call it), she has proven to us what a dog’s purpose truly is (and she is the apple of my husband’s eye!).

She has taught us about loyalty, companionship and unconditional love.  On top of everything that she has taught us, she has also helped me through some very dark days (and nights) throughout the last four years.  She instinctively knows when I am upset and has the ability to comfort me whether it’s snuggling right up next to me in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep or licking away my tears (yes I can hear the jeering from here from all the non-dog loving readers!).  And whether she knows it or not, petting her behind the ears or giving her a belly rub when I am extremely anxious or very depressed has such a calming effect on me (a win-win for both of us!) especially when human contact can often leave me feeling very confined and claustrophobic in these situations.

They say that a dog is a man’s (and woman’s) best friend and I truly believe that.  Our fur baby is faithful, smart, nonjudgmental, dependable, protective and an integral part of our family unit.  Her amusing and often silly antics only make me love her more.  She accepts me for me and never holds a grudge.  She is always happy to see me, even if I have only left the house for five minutes, when I return home it’s as though I’ve have been gone for days.  Her heart is filled with so much love and she genuinely understands the importance of the simple pleasures in life which so many of us take for granted; like having a good nap, a stroll in the park during a warm summer day, a leisurely ride in the car with family or a delicious home-cooked meal.

You see a dog undoubtedly has so many purposes in life, but first and foremost they show us how important it is to be mindful of ourselves and others, and that the real purpose in life is truly to just be happy.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

One thought on “A Dog’s Purpose”

  1. Just wanted to say dog’s are wonderful. We had three that passed away a few years ago. We just got one a year ago (after not having a dog for a couple of years). They will always love you.
    Also it is great to hear how you are doing. I truly am impressed with everything you have been through!

    Liked by 2 people

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