As we all know, most dogs are born with a purpose to their lives. Shetland Sheep dogs are driven to herd anything they can and are good at it. German Shepherds have a natural instinct to protect what they consider to be theirs…like their people. Hunting dogs have all sorts of talents. They can pick up and follow scents of prey, they can flush birds out of bushes….some can even retrieve birds out of the water with a bite so soft you’d never know the bird was ever in the dog’s mouth.
All dogs love and need to have a job… whatever it is. It’s wonderful if we can all work with our dogs to encourage their natural abilities. But it’s important to remember that even though you take your herding dog to sheep herding lessons or you take your Newfoundland puppy swimming to encourage their need to save anything that’s in the water… that will not be their only job. Our dogs’ favorite and most important job is… you guessed… us.
When I talk to pets, especially dogs, they often tell me about the job they do for their humans. Sometimes the job involves picking the paper up off the driveway and taking it to the front door. Sometimes they sit by their mama while she cries and feels sad….putting that paw on mama’s lap helps her feel better. Sometimes they lay by the door at night and make sure everyone is safe. These are just a few examples of jobs that dogs have told me they do for their humans. They may seem simple to us, but to our pets, they are extremely important.
Our cats also talk about jobs they do for their humans… though not all cats feel a need to do anything for the hand that feeds them. The ones that do want to help usually talk about sitting on their humans’ laps to keep them company while they relax. Some kitties say they help by always laying nicely while daddy brushes their fur. Still others like to think greeting mama at the front door when she comes home is their job. Cats like to help their people feel better…but it usually has to do with something that is also good for them… like getting petted while sitting on mama’s lap… no surprise there!
To summarize, it’s very important that we never underestimate what our pets do for us on a daily basis… especially our dogs. They love to work and whether their job is herding sheep, rescuing people from drowning or just simply sitting by us when we’re having a bad day, it is for us to notice and be thankful to them for their important work… whatever it may be.
See you in the New Year,