The big question is: Can I keep the dog or must I give him away to the Humane Society? I'm old, the dog's old and my husband has recently died. Now I am alone, the dog is my whole life (and I his, I believe). Of course I must start thinking of him as my dog now. We adopted him as a young dog and he's never had a day's illness in his life. However, he does need to get out and enjoy the fresh air and meet other dogs and people. Sometimes I am so tired I can't find the energy to take him out.
About a quarter of a mile away is one of those dog play areas in a local park. Such a good idea, don't you think?My dog was always thrilled to go there and play with the other dogs. His deceased master used to walk him there on the leash and then let him free in the fenced in dog area. I could probably walk that far, slowly, but not with the dog eagerly pulling on the leash. What I have done is secure the yard so he can't get out and run off; that will have to do.
I do my shopping twice a week in the car. Again, his master used to take the dog. If it was hot he would park the car in some deep shade and leave the windows open a little. Sometimes that meant a long walk to the store. The dog loved those trips out in the car so much. Nowadays he looks at me forlornly and I know he is wondering why I leave him at home on his own. I know I couldn't manage the shopping and the dog but he doesn't understand, I'm sure.
Remember 'the big question' with which I started off this unhappy state of affairs? Can I keep the dog? The answer, amazingly, is yes I can!
This is how. My daughter came to see me yesterday and brought a large package with her. She said it was for me and my dog. I asked her how the dog and I could possibly need or want the same present. She opened it there and then and quickly assembled it into what looked a bit like a baby stroller! Whatever do we want this for, I wondered. My daughter was full of excitement. She lifted my dog and put him in the stroller.
The dog was surprised and interested. The stroller was completely enclosed, the front half being netting and wide open to the fresh air, sights and sounds; the back half enclosed, either for bad weather or for the dog to sleep.
As I said, I am old. I had never seen anything like it at all. I asked my daughter what I was supposed to do with it. She laughed and laughed: 'Mother, it's a pet stroller
. It's the very latest invention for pets who need help with transportation. Until recently I hadn't seen one. When I did see one I thought of you and your dog immediately.'
I sat down; my knees were shaking and a hopeful sensation was beginning to creep into my consciousness. Gradually I began to see the possibilities. I made tea for my daughter and we sat at the kitchen table for hours talking about all the places I could take my dog in his stroller.
That night I was so excited I couldn't sleep. I made a plan for the next day. After breakfast I put my dog into his pet stroller and (using it a bit to lean on) we walked slowly to the park. When we reached the fenced off area for dogs I let my dog out. My heart was beating with pure pleasure as I watched him scurry around sniffing other dogs and playing with them. I sat there for a while watching my dog and summoning up enough energy for the walk home.
That morning walk to the park has become a routine and both my dog and I benefit from the exercise and fresh air. Life is good, no question. I want to tell the world to get a pet stroller for their pet - dog or cat.
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