Childhood memories of running through the yard, of dirt being kicked up, of throwing a ball and a flash of red whizzing by – there is nothing like a boy and his dog. Growing up with at least two dogs (along with cats, birds, fish, gerbils) at any time, there was no boredom to be be found. A dog always needed to go outside, wanted to play, or at least lay on your lap and snore for a couple of hours. When nap time was over, time to play in the backyard and chase a ball or catch a frisbee.
I have always cherished this part of my childhood. Being around and caring for animals, especially those so affectionate and close to humans (dogs and cats) instills a level of patience, gratitude, and empathy. They really are part of the family and when they are happy, we are happy (and vice-versa) and when they are sick, we hurt, we feel, and we cry. I cannot imagine not having a four-legged monster running through the hallways, bark echoing, and another ball gone missing.