Many of us have had a pet or two in our lives. We keep them for many reasons. While at times I'm personally conflicted by the practice I also acknowledge that mankind has kept pets, especially canines, for many tens of thousands of years and over those many millenia a very special bond has grown. We take care and comfort them and they in turn return the favor with constant loyalty and faithful companionship. For me that special bond is with a certain Shiba-Inu (wiki link provided for those unfamiliar with the breed). She has been with me since 2001 and has been my very faithful companion.
I found her in the Dallas ASPCA shelter on the very day she was put up for adoption. She was only 8 weeks old. She had a brother that had been dropped off with her. From what I could tell the brother went him with an adorable little girl and I'm sure he had many a tea party and pre-teen sleepovers to keep him young at heart - if not a little tortured. Gracy though found me. This little Shiba bonded with me the moment we met, that or she just wanted out for fear that some little boy might nab her. Who knows what really goes through a dog's mind.
Not a day goes by that I regret my decision to bring her into my life. Not a day goes by that I'm not happy to see her wagging tail and excited nature when I open the door. She is just a dog, a pet, but she is family. As family she has adopted those I've brought into my life and made them her own, even if a little slowly at times.
She is no longer a puppy, but still full of life and curiosity. Her sprints don't last as long and she now prefers a casual sniffing tour to the rigorous pull my arm out of my socket walk. To be honest we could all learn a great deal from my little Gracy. Even though she is no "spring chicken" she still tackles life with zeal and excitement, if just a little slower than she did when just a pup.
She's not perfect, but neither am I. In any event she has remained loyal to me and I loyal to her. So to her and all the pets of the world that keep their human mates happy and soulful, THANK YOU!