Tag Archive: dogs


Dogs and Rain Storms

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

If you have a Labrador retriever, you know what I am about to say is the truth.

 

They are the smartest dog and the dumbest dog you will ever meet.

 

My black lab will remember if I have left the front door open. He remembers every place he has ever seen a cat or a rabbit. He knows how to find hidden candy and makes the nightly search for food that has fallen to the floor or simply left out on the table.

 

But the moment he gets loose, my Storm becomes the biggest idiot on the planet. He runs to yards that have dogs and purposely gets them barking. He runs into the street without looking, runs up to people and barks at them for no reason.

 

The other night when it was raining, my black lab got out of the house. How it happened does not matter because he will take advantage of anyone when he wants to escape. But there we were, trying to catch a black dog on a night with an inky black sky. We could barely see him and tried to do what works best which is make him follow us.

 

Well, eventually, we succeeded in doing just that. But not before he was almost hit by a car. Thankfully that car made him slow down and we caught him. But for a moment I thought the dog was going to get hit and I would not have blamed the other driver one bit as he is so hard to see.

 

We were lucky but one of my neighbors was not. Their dog died in a similar incident.

 

Losing a pet like that matters. Pets become a part of our daily lives, a member of the family. They depend on us for everything, even that daily walk. Neighbors have told me sad stories over the years of the loss of a pet. Maybe it was a different dog that killed their dog or a long illness or a sudden cold that did in the animal. But what was most important was how the loss of the pet was felt by the family.

 

This is reflected in movies as well.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

I am not sure how many people saw Old Yeller. It is about a family in post-civil war Texas who is adopted by a dog. The father played by Fess Parker, is out of town on a cattle run and the oldest son has been put ‘in-charge.’ His first instincts are to chase off the dog but Yeller proves his worth time and time again.

 

Sadly, there is an illness going around that affects animals and Yeller gets it after protecting his family one more time. The boy must make a hard decision most adults do not want to face.

 

I can’t say you won’t cry when you watch this movie; I am certainly thinking about it as I write about this movie. While this movie is better suited for tweener family members and those who are older.

Another movie that focuses on the loss of a pet that is best suited for all members of the family is Bolt voiced by John Travolta. The story is about a TV dog that is purposely lost and works to find his way back to his owner. But along the way, Bolt learns some lessons about making friends and living life in the moment as he has never done before.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Making Hard Life Choices

When I was asked to review a book on being childless called Complete Without Children by Ellen L. Walker Ph.D, I took the book for a number of reasons.

Picture from Me

I have to admit I was intrigued by the book after reading news stories that there are more households that have a pet than have a child in the house. That’s right, 39% of households in America have a pet dog while 33.5% of households have a child under the age of 18.

I am willing to bet most of those households have dogs but that is beyond the point. Apparently fewer of us are having children or waiting longer to do it. Which means we have fewer children.

Some of my friends saw me reading this book and wondered why I was reading such a thing. After all, I have four kids. It was a bit too late to have a childless life if I so wanted.

For me the book was more of a glimspe into the life I might have had if I had not changed my mind about wanting a family. I could have travelled more, figured out my life ambitions  more, devoted more energy to a career. When I was young I stated I did not want children because I was a selfish being and kids require a certain selflessness. You have to understand that your wants and needs do not always matter.

In this book Dr. Walker looks at women who were childless by choice, by happenstance or by circumstances beyond their control. I felt sorry for the women who could not have children and grieved the loss. But for the women who did not have children and choose not to have children, I felt complete agreement.

One woman had to raise her younger siblings while their mother worked to support the family. Another never wanted children and ended a relationship with a man who did want a family. The author was involved with men who already had children or did not want to start a family. By the time she got around to thinking about children it was too late for her. Besides that, she enjoyed having freetime to work on projects. Another woman worked as a freelance graphic designer and liked having a quiet house so she could work all day and all night if need be. 

What made this reading assignment enjoyable is that the book is written in a conversational manner. I began to know people and enjoyed reading how they came to their lifestyle decisions.

When my husband saw the book I was reading, he snorted. Then he made a comment that not having a family  is un-natural. We are meant to have families, we humans are made to have families and by golly, everyone who is capable of having children should have children.

Really, I answered. Because I would rather have parents who want kids in this world. How many kids have we seen on our street and in our community where parents are parents not by choice. And the majority of those parents are angry, resentful parents who pass on those feeling to their kids, making for angry resentful kids. Yep, that’s what I want in the world. Kids raised by angry, resentful parents.

I would rather have children raised by parents who want them, by parents who give a shit about their kids. Quite frankly, it is brave of these women to stand up and say “I do not have a maternal bone in my body.” Nor I do not think they should be ridiculed or put down for that. Knowing what you do not want is just as important as knowing what you do want.

Who needs kids when you can get a puppy? Picture by Bad Robt

However, you and I know people will shake their heads and cluck their tongues at women whose life does not have a child tugging at their shirt tails. God forbid a woman should walk a different path than one of motherhood, still. I thought feminism was getting us beyond this point. We are used to women working, women being able to own their own homes and have their own credit card.

That childless woman a real threat to society. Yep, I am buying into that line thinking. Just as soon as I buy into the idea that the Moon Missions really happened in the desert.

Now if you are interested in reading the book, I am giving away my copy. Add a comment making the request and I will pick someone at random.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about women who choose not to have children. Unnatural or a good decision – tell me.

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