I have been an animal lover all of my life. I have had family dogs, gerbils, rabbits. I even had an iguana for some time. As a kid, I wanted to pet every dog that I passed. And if we were visiting a friend or family member that had an animal, you can bet that is where I would be found. I also rode horses when I was younger, and I think that was the first time I was truly passionate about something. I still have a deep love for horses. Being around them. The smell of them. Even the work it takes to care for them. I love it all. I was blessed as a young child to live right down the road from a barn, and thanks to my mom & a wonderful couple that had two horses, I started riding lessons. I learned so much over those years, and they are my most cherished memories.
I am so proud to see my child having the same passion. He loves all animals, and they love him right back. More than one person has commented about dogs being drawn to him. I can only hope he continues to strengthen that passion as he grows up.
I believe there is a difference between passion and obsession. Recently someone described me as “obsessed with dogs.” I believe that to be incorrect. I am not obsessed with dogs. I may joke about my life revolving around dogs, but it is just that. A joke. I have an active child, who I am often doing activities with. I have friends that I go out with. I attend church. I work a full time job. I also am a dog mom to my permanents and fosters. That is an important part of my life, but I am not obsessed. I AM passionate, however.
obsession: preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.
passionate: showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief.
I am passionate about my belief that dogs should be treated as family pets. They should not be left outside to fend for themselves. They should not be ditched when someone’s life becomes too busy. They should not be killed because they are too old and someone doesn’t want to care for them anymore. I feel that all animals should be treated humanely, but I am most passionate about dogs because that is what I love the most. I am passionate about this notion that dogs are disposable, and can be abused, neglected, and put to sleep with no one being held accountable. We (humans) took dogs in, and domesticated them. WE taught them to be family pets. We gave them food, therefore causing them to lose their hunting skills. We have given them warm, dry homes to live in. They have been loving, loyal, and protective in return. So why do we still have this belief that we can dump them in the woods when we have something else come up? And if you don’t feel that a dog is a part of a family, just don’t get a dog. I do not judge those that are not dog lovers. It doesn’t bother me if someone thinks that dogs are a nuisance, or if someone doesn’t understand the love I have for dogs. As long as that person is not a dog owner.
I am also passionate about fostering, and truly believe that it saves lives. Since being a part of Last Hope Rescue, I have heard some really sad stories. I have learned about what is really going on in our communities, and just how many homeless pets are out there. Being a part of the rescue has motivated me to become more involved with the local shelter. I have cried over dogs that have been put to sleep. I have been heart broken over saying goodbye to foster dogs. But when I look at Oscar, sprawled out, on his back, legs in the air, taking up the entire couch, I think about how my life has changed because of dogs. And how I have changed their lives. I know that I cannot save every dog. I know that I can’t change everyone’s opinions about pit bulls, or dogs in general. I know that I can’t make people be responsible, loyal pet owners. But on my journey through life, I will continue trying. I will never give up on dogs. Because they don’t give up on us. I will always be passionate about dogs. That is my promise, in honor of all of the dogs that have been a part of my life.
My Foster & Perma Babies