Reasons why our pets should appreciate us
April 11, 2012 4:56PM
Updated: April 11, 2012 4:56PM
I was going to center this column on Animal Appreciation Week, coming up April 16. We love our pets and want to make them happy. For some, it’s often to the point of obsession.
However, the other night, as I moved my book and coffee to the couch so Isabella the Terrible could snooze in my favorite chair, it dawned on me that perhaps the more interesting question might be why our pets should appreciate us.
I would ask the mutt if she appreciates the times when I surrender and allow her to sprawl horizontally in bed at night, pushing me to the outer limits of the mattress.
I might point out that I agonize over dog-food labels to make sure she won’t be poisoned by insidious fillers or Chinese junk.
And, while we’re on the subject of food, how grateful is she that I warm her dinner every night so she’s not snarfing down the cold, congealed stuff right from the fridge? Or that I regularly trek all the way to Dyer to buy her favorite chews?
You’d think Issy would find herself lucky to have not one, but two, baskets of toys — upstairs and downstairs — and my willingness to admit that, yes, there’s always room for one more.
You’d think I would get a “thanks, mom” for all the walks, even when I come home dog-tired (sorry, bad pun); for inviting her BFF Webster to come play, even when the house has just been cleaned; for making sure she stays healthy and always has her shots and heartworm preventative on time.
You’d think that animal would be grateful. But when Issy hoists up her 60 pounds on my lap at night and goes to sleep with her head on my shoulder, I can’t help but think she knows she’s one lucky dog.
My neighbor, Tom Boyle of Merrillville, takes the above-mentioned Webster for a drive every night. Slowly, they cruise the neighborhood and circle the field looking for rabbits and deer — with Webster hanging out the back window.
Brian Neff, Hammond: “If my lab, Oscar, appreciates anything, it’s the day I bought the book on pet massage. The sounds that come out of that dog are pure bliss. My friends think it’s hysterical.”
Melanie Karpela, Dyer: “Socks, my cat, would always put up a fuss when I went for my walk, so I bought her a tiny harness and she took to it immediately. Now, when I put on my walking shoes, she runs to the closet and waits to be harnessed.”
Michael McAllister, Schererville: “My dog, Scooter, needs to send a big thank-you to my wife, Ashley. When the three of us go in the car, Ashley sits in the back seat and Scooter gets strapped in up front on the passenger’s side.
“We tried it the other way, but Scooter was so determined, he would crawl his way out of the back seat to sit on Ashley’s lap. She finally just gave up.”