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Ken Nix

Monday, 2/2/2009

Pets are wonderful living creatures that were given to us by our Creator to provide comfort and companionship to us for our edification.  Pets are wonderful teaching tools for children and for adults.  One learns responsibility including timeliness, patience, kindness, but probably more important is the replacement of our selfish nature with that of concern for others.   Each pet has its own personality and quirks.  When they are bad, we still love them.  When they nip or bite, we know there was a reason.  We love them regardless of their behavior.  Their love towards us is unconditional.  We are happy to attend to their needs and keep plenty of food and water on hand.  We spend time with them when they want to be petted or cuddled or walked.  We gladly deal with the unpleasant task of changing the litter box, and the occasional hair ball is quickly cleaned up and forgotten.  Dogs are taken for their walks, no matter that wind, rain, snow or sleet prevail.

Many pets truly are treated like kings.   I first heard of “doggie daycare” about ten years ago.  I wondered if I had heard correctly.  And, yes, I did.  It is like day care for children.  People actually drop off their dogs in the morning at the day care facility and pick them up in the evening.  Some people who do this don’t even work.  Prices of basic doggie daycare seem to run between $8 and $35 a day and may be as high as $85 or more depending on the location and services received.  Advantages cited for taking your dog to daycare are that owners avoid coming home to a stressed out dog, destruction to the house or yard, and neighbors complaining of barking and howling.  The main advantage for your dog is that your pampered pooch will enjoy its day exercising and socializing with other dogs and people.  There may be organized group play, and some facilities feature web cams so you can watch your pet while you are away.  A quick look on the Internet produced many links but one doggie daycare/spa lists as its mission “to enhance the physical and emotional health of every canine client.”  They have an expert grooming team which offers a relaxed and pleasurable experience for your dog.  Their pet boutique offers fashion and food – natural and luxurious.  A quick look at another web site produced a list of upcoming events for your dog such as a black tie & tails gala for elegantly clad canine guests and their human companions.  Besides live music, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts, a bar will feature canine cocktails and a doggy buffet.  The $150 per person ticket includes one dog.   I hope most of the funds earned are funneled to charities.

Pet stores in this country feature abundant choices of food for your pet.  Clothing varies from basic sweaters to tutus to gowns and holiday costumes.  The toy section contains myriads of items to help your pet enjoy his carefree days. 

Many dogs live inside homes, but many of those living outside still live in heated, lighted doghouses.  In comparison, sled dogs in Alaska (some are short-haired) live without clothing in unheated doghouses where winter temperatures run well below zero.  Today, January 1, 2009, the temperature in Fairbanks is 30 degrees below zero.

While pet needs are to be provided because responsibility was accepted when the pets were acquired, many people have clearly lost perspective.  I wonder how many of these pet owners have helped the lost and alone who may be living on their street, working in their offices, or even living in their homes.  Has there been a black tie gala for the homeless?  Are people giving their pets more care and nurturing than they give to their families or neighbors?  God does want people to be kind to animals and has been known to bless those who do, however his focus is primarily on the people he created.  Should we not do likewise?



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