Dogs Don’t Get Depressed

My wife has been asking me for years to write an animal story. I just haven’t gotten round yet, kind of like fixing the gate. So when the time finally came around, I told her I could write her a tender story filled with despair or a weary story laced with hope, what’s your pleasure? 

            When I was single I would get depressed. Friends would say to me, “why don’t you get a dog, you know dogs are never depressed.” I would ask them “why’s that?”  Is it because their brains are smaller?” What could I possibly learn from a dog? I really didn’t know why nor would they be my friend. I thought what kind of advice could a dog give me?  “Have you tried lying in the sun, until you are really hot then go lay in the shade, feels pretty good."  How about eating your dinner so fast you don’t know what happened.”

            Then I met my wife Linda, a true animal lover. She is someone who has owned dogs, cats, rats, hamsters, birds, lizards, and worked at a zoo. She has handled hissing cockroaches and tarantulas and let snakes drape over her body. My family had hamsters growing up and it always seemed there was the usual tragic ending of escaping or getting accidently stepped on. We must have owned ten hamsters, all named Fred.

            Fast forward year later, I brought home a puppy Labrador retriever for my wife Linda’s birthday. This made her very happy and the dog happy. That dog has never been depressed even thirteen years later. Now we have three dogs, the last two she found abandoned and now they are not depressed as well. They live a life that looks fairly uncomplicated in fact they only appear stressed when gardener shows up with the leaf blower.

            My rule is fairly straightforward with dog ownership; if you are not going to give them attention then don’t own one. When I reflect about the dogs that have resided in my home, I can tell you how each one taught me something about life. Riley my 110 pound Labrador has taught me that no matter how tired and worn out you may feel, she can still chase the Frisbee one more time. She is really saying don’t be a quitter, I can go all day what’s your issue?  Starr my four and a half pound Chihuahua teaches me every day that there is nothing better than a cool breeze in face with your head out the window. She is really saying, be here right now in this moment. Tucker my thirteen pound mix of terrier and Chihuahua who loves to the ride in my truck but as soon as we get to our destination is so ready to go back home. What he is really saying, “it’s all about the journey stupid. “

            Some dogs make you wonder why you brought them into your life. Some bark all of time, others chew your wives 300 hundred dollar boots and worst yet some pass foul gas in your bedroom.  The reason there are such a rise in dog ownership is because they can feel a void in your life. Getting unconditional love every day is something that is so needed in our society. So next time you come home from a hard day at the office, just get ready for the love machine that waits at your door. Give them some attention and hopefully the love bomb you get in return takes the edge off.