Today is our Sparky dog’s birthday. As far as we know. He was rehomed with us because his prior owner was an elderly woman whose decline due tp Alzheimer’s Disease escalated. Therefore no papers were found to verify his birthdate and pedigree. We were Good Samaritans.

We’ve had Sparky for three months. Plenty of time to accumulate lists of the good, the bad, and the ugly about dog ownership.

Good things Sparky brings to us must be stated first:

  • cuddles and companionship
  • while ours is a house of mirth, we laugh more at his antics
  • when we rescued him, his life was saved. It was our honor to do so.
  • exercise required for all of us, keeping us more limber, nimble, and slim
  • increased wrist strength for me as Sparky and I play tug-of-war with of one his squeaky toys or I toss him a ball to fetch
  • barking, as a self-appointed watchdog, when people come to our door
  • he’s always happy to see us if/when we’ve been gone. “Welcome!” his stance says. Who minds if he jumps for joy on our chests!

Bad things, which aren’t truly bad, about dog ownership

  • increased costs for his food, toys, neuter fees, and shots
  • my wrenched back because our coolDood(le) likes to pull the leash to lead the way
  • barking at everyone who comes to our door, friend or foe
  • whining to wake us at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. Though we are habitual early risers, that’s a 1/2 -1 hr. loss of sleep
  • counter surfing in our kitchen and scarfing everything within his snout’s reach
  • over-interest in every snack item or baked good we prepare
  • we’ve gained another level of responsibility when we want to go anywhere… what to do with Sparky?

There are no ugly elements to dog ownership. We consider Sparky our Spark of love.