Meet the Newest Member of the Family

By: Jan Monahan
Gone are the days when a dog was brought home it had a dog house rather than a comfy bed. No longer are the dogs we bring into our lives called Fido, Rex or Rover. Groomers were considered something that only the rich did for their dogs; an extravagance for any rural household or farm.
Dogs of yesteryear were working dogs. They chased away would be intruders human, fox or wolf and they kept people safe. They were the ones who kept sheep and cattle herds in check. Hunters would have had difficulty finding food. Historians tell us that if it hadn’t been for the working dog by our side this nation would have been difficult to settle.
Things have changed. No longer do most dogs have a house; in fact many run the house. They sleep with us and ride in the front seat of the car. They have been given people names the same as a child. It is become more common place to have a homecoming party for a puppy. Some of the dog food these days is more expensive than people food. What’s worse, we humans have been reduced to carrying around plastic bags and picking up their droppings. Dogs have their own special parks where they can play with their friends, diamond studded collars and their own seatbelt. Not surprisingly, trips to the groomers are for many a monthly appointment.
All these developments are not a bad thing. They have certainly worked out well for the dogs but, their human companions have benefited too. Individuals who are visually or hearing impaired gain their independence when they work with a service dog. Dogs are saving lives by finding people lost in avalanches and hiking accidents. Specially bred hounds solve crimes by discovering corpses and criminals and their discoveries are admissible in United States courtrooms. They detect narcotics, explosives and other potentially harmful materials. They still do a stellar job as protectors and defenders of their owners. However, the most important role they play is that of a trusted and loving companion. No longer just a dog, meet the newest member of the family.

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