- Out for your daily walk, leaving pee mails, and out of nowhere comes another pup, loose from a leash. He attacks you! You got lucky this time, you are only off to the emergency room for some medicine.
- Enjoying your favorite treat, when the next day you don't feel so good. The treat has lodged in your intestines and you are rushed into surgery.
- Your peeps have no choice but to board you with a trusted doggie day camp, because they have to go out of town on business. When they pick you up they find you can't walk because you have a broken foot. Will you be able to do agility again?
- While minding your own business at the dog park, romping around and having fun. Out of the blue a pack of dogs descends on you and you end up in the hospital - it's touch and go for a few days.
- Out running a fun agility course and enjoying your favorite thing in the world. You take a wrong step and there goes your ACL. Out of agility for maybe six months.
- Driving back from your favorite activity, when suddenly your car is smacked broadside. Not only are those moving monstrosities dangerous when you are outside of them, they can be just as dangerous when you're inside.
- Herding sheep one day, doing what you do best. And voila, a sheepie steps on your foot and it's broken in two places.
- Barking up a storm, you alert your peeps to strangers lurking outside. Months later, you're evicted from your home.
- While having a great swim, you accidentally ingest some blue green algae. Now, it's off to the hospital!
- At an obedience trial, you smell something wonderful on the ground. You lick it up and three days later you're at the vets with a nasty case of gastroenteritis.
- You find out your favorite toy is made in China and has high doses of lead - bye, bye favorite toy.
- The food your best friend and their two-leggers have trusted for years, suddenly has an ingredient that sends them on a furever trip over the Rainbow Bridge. Your two-leggers are devastated, sorrowful, and will miss you greatly.
Is there no place safe?
And, what's a pup to do?
Do we live in glass cages for the rest of our lives, protected from all these ever present dangers. Do we become so isolated that we can no longer be dogs? Do we not go out of the house, anymore? Are we going to have to be deprived of our favorite activities? Do we grow and raise our own food, so that we know it's safe? Are the only toys that we can enjoy, those that our two-leggers hand make from materials they know are safe? But do any of us know what is really safe anymore? More and more dangers are getting noticed every day.
I've been pondering this subject for quite a while, now. And I've come to some conclusions, and continue to come to more as time passes, as I put my mind to this issue. Many things are certain in my book:
- I want to bark.
- I want to play with toys.
- I want to eat.
- I want to swim.
- I want to play with other dogs.
- I want to take walks.
- I want to run.
- I want to herd.
- I want to do agility.
- I want to enjoy more activities.
- I want to sniff.
- I want to learn.
- I want to experience the World.
- And, I want to be with my Mum, as long as my naturally aging body will allow.
Now, with the significant advances in veterinary medicine, dogs are living much longer and healthier lives; and able to spend much more time with their loved ones. I am grateful for that. And there are wonderful, concerned citizens that spend countless hours helping to protect us from the new and ever present dangers in the World. For that I am extremely grateful, as well.
But there is one thing I know for certain - and that's how I'm going to live my life. I am going to live a healthy, happy life as best as I can. I am going to experience all that I can, learn all that I can. Yes, I'm going to be vigilante, and keep a careful eye out for dangers, avoiding them as much as possible. But dangers can be anywhere and can happen when you least expect; they are a part of life. I have to realize that I, and my Mum, can't protect me from every danger out there. It's unrealistic. And I'm not about to let 'the World's dangers' deprive me of what I was born to do, and be.
So I've come to the conclusion that I am going to live the life I am dealt with, the one I am destined to live - whether it be short or long; and I am going to live it, with my Mum, with gusto.
I am going to be a dog!