Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I read an article recently about dogs and the relationships they have with their owners. David Blouin, a cultural sociologist at Indiana University South Bend, has said that the relationships between dogs and their owners fall into three categories. These categories are as follows: (1) dogs are highly valued and are considered close companions, like pseudo people; (2) people who generally value animals, not just as pets ; and (3) people who see dogs as animals being separate and less important than people, often using dogs for hunting and pest control and having them live outdoors. People living in rural areas are more likely to leave their animals outside. In other words, no couches, chairs or beds to lie on.

Well, I definitely do not fall into the third category as evidenced by this picture. For those three categories, I am more familar with people who fall into the first or third category. I know a number of people who own working dogs and these dogs have a role and a function on the farm/ranch. These dogs are good companions and have a job to do on the farm/ranch they live on. The last border collie I owned was a working cattle dog and lived outside. I got her when she was six years old as the owners wanted to retire her. She came to the city to retire!! This reminds of farmers who move into town once they sell their property. She had never been inside a house until she came to my home. Being a border collie, which is number one on the intelligence scale, she did not have any issues adapting to the good life. She nicely settled into enjoying her dog bed, assisting me in doing the routine weekend errands, helping me train for a marathon and several half marathons, and herding the house cats. Her former owners told me that she likely thought she had died and gone to heaven.

My relationship with my pets have always been highly valued and I have considered them close companions, members of my family. It is always interesting to compare notes with fellow dog owners and see how people are similar to you in the way dogs are intertwined in our lives. There is a saying "dogs may not be our whole life but they make our life whole". I can relate to that. Until next time......

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