Our love of dogs begins early in life

In fact I believe some of us have a loves-dogs gene in our DNA. Those of you who do not possess this gene, and you know who you are, may want to just skim over this column and move on with reading the rest of the paper.

Our grandson, Roni, appears to have the loves-dogs gene. Roni will soon be one year old.

He’s been walking for awhile now and, of course, is exploring everything within his little reach. This includes our golden retriever, Lilly.

Entirely without prompting from grandma and grandpa, Roni has started snuggling up to Lily, gently petting her and laying his face on her soft fur. Lilly is a typical golden retriever, full of love and glad to have the affection. The only real risk in this relationship is the excessive licking (by Lily, not Roni).

As a life-long dog lover and owner myself, my heart is warmed by the natural affection I see occurring between Roni and Lily. I know already that his life is going to be enriched by a love of dogs, and probably animals of all kind, a genetic trait passed on by his Mom.

Many authors have commented on the subject of man’s relationship with his canine friends. Here are a few observations I’ve come across to share with you. Where known, I’ve noted the author of each quote.

“Happiness is a warm puppy” – Charles Schultz. “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face” – Ben Williams. “One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you are feeling blue is he doesn’t try to find out why” – Unknown. “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person” – Andy Rooney. Andy also said, “If a dog could talk, it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.”

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven and very, very few persons.” – James Thurber. “If there are no dogs in heaven then when I die I want to go where they went” – Will Rogers. “It is no mistake that dog spelled backwards is God” – Unknown. “No one has ever asked me if there is a cat heaven” – Unknown.

“My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $1 a can. That’s $7 in dog money” – Joe Weinstein. “I wonder if dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult” – Rita Rudner. “If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise” – Unknown. “If you can’t have a dog, having a child may be an acceptable alternative” – Unknown.

“My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am” – Unknown. “Dogs are not our whole life, but make our lives whole” – Roger Caras. “The reason a dog has so many friends is he wags his tail instead of his tongue” – Unknown. “Properly trained, man can be a dog’s best friend” – Cory Ford. “Dog’s lives are too short, their only fault, really” – Agnes Turnbull.

If you have the loves-dogs gene but no longer have a dog remember this, you are never too old to have a dog. The love and affection of a dog can add happiness and years to your life, and there will always be someone out there willing to love your dog if you are no longer here to do so.