Friday, February 22, 2013

love.this.documentary. -- my dog: an unconditional love story

I promise this blog is not just about dogs.  As the tagline says, this is a blog about love, happiness, and joy.  But how can I NOT talk about dogs when discussing love, happiness, and joy?

I had no intention of watching two documentaries in one week.  I have work I must accomplish.  But I saw this on Netflix and couldn't help myself.  I also happen to be blessed with a secondary job that allows me to watch television sometimes and bring my babies with me (I know, right?!)

This documentary is on Netflix and is also free to watch if you are an Amazon Prime member.  I believe you can watch it on YouTube.  It is short, only 50 minutes, but totally worth watching if you are a dog lover like me.

I loved the way those who were interviewed described their relationships with their dogs.  I have relationships with my dogs, Opie and Maizy.  They are not just pets or accessories to my home, but they are my family.  They are my babies and much of what I do revolves around them and their needs, much like a parent to their children.

Here are some things that were mentioned in the documentary that I really connected with:

Dogs give unconditional love.  Sometimes we expect unconditional love from people, but we don't get it.  Dogs are such wonderful creatures that the love they give is boundless.

Dogs have pure intentions.  I never thought about it that way, but I totally agree.  They aren't mean, manipulative creatures that are looking to use you.

The relationship that you have with your dog is a spiritual connection, "an inter-species bond" that cannot be matched.  I love all animals, I really do, but I do have a spiritual connection to Opie and Maizy that I do not have with my fish or my tort.

Alone time with your dogs is zen time.  Peace comes with them and follows them wherever they go.  I love that.  I actually just returned home from walking my dogs and it was definitely zen time.  I watched them at the end of the Take Two leash, their bodies bouncing off each other as they trotted down the sidewalk in perfect synchrony.  Their tails waved together - they were in tune with each other and I was in tune with them.  They were leading me, but I was leading them at the same time. Though snow and ice still covered the grass, it had warmed just enough to make for a pleasant walk where the dogs weren't shivering.  It was a perfect, zen walk.

Dogs bring you comfort and benefit your health.  For example, dogs can help lower your blood pressure.

Dogs help cancer patients emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  When my mom was battling breast cancer, her mini dachshund Winnie was her rock.  I truly believe that if she did not have Winnie, my mom would have given up and let the cancer take her over.  Winnie gave her love, happiness, and joy.  Winnie passed away from her own cancer last year.  She was young, only six.  My mom is not the only cancer survivor I know who has found great comfort and healing in dogs.  They are remarkable creatures.

There is a common language among dog owners.  Having a dog is like having an instant connection to complete strangers.  You know the moment they smile at you and say "awww" or stop to pet your dog that you have a connection with this person through animals.  You can tell when a human does not like dogs or animals because as they walk past you, they pay no attention to the cuteness at your side.  I stay away from those people, haha.  When you meet another dog owner, you exchange stories like mothers exchange stories about their children.  Instead of "Johnny said the funniest thing yesterday," it's more like "Opie left a piece of broccoli in my office chair, my living room chair, and in my bed.  I think he is trying to tell me something."  That's a true story, by the way.  Dog owners talk about Kongs and dog food and dog parks and the best doggy day cares.  We discuss breeds and preferences and how our dogs understand English.

Here is a sad fact, but I had to share it.  Three to four million shelter dogs are euthanized every year, according to this documentary.  This totally broke my heart.  Personally, this is the reason I only adopt from shelters or humane societies.  I also have a rule that I only adopt mixed breeds.  There is an abundance of animals that need homes out there.  We don't need people to breed and we're still struggling with people getting their animals fixed.  If you have room for more love in your life and can afford to take a sweet creature into your home, what are you waiting for?  They give more than they take.  Unfortunately, many of the dogs that need forever homes are not puppies.  People want puppies because they are cute and relatively customizable.  Don't be afraid to take an older dog into your home - many of them are well trained and super loving.  This was one of my concerns adopting Maizy since she is three.  Opie was a tiny puppy when I adopted him.  But as soon as I met Maizy and we spent some time together, I didn't care that she wasn't a puppy.  She was meant for me.

Here is a little joke from the documentary to close on a more positive note.  Coming from a man: "If you want to know who loves you more, lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for a while and see who is happier to see you when you open it."

If you are thinking about giving a forever home to one of the many dogs in need, please contact your local shelter or humane society.  You may also check, which is how I came across Maizy.  Most shelters and humane societies post their animals there.  I'm going to go all Bob Barker here and remind you to have your pets spayed or neutered.


  1. Loved this, we also loved that doc it is great and I got all smiley inside reading this post, thinking of all the dogs I've loved and our precious Shemly who was rescued age 3 and could not be more perfect for our family or well behaved. We struck gold(en retriever ;) with her. Loved the trunk analogy. Dogs are so forgiving and loyal. :) Your broccoli story made me laugh!

  2. The broccoli story is one of my favorites. Basically, I had forgotten to put a bag of veggies back into the fridge and when I returned home, the bag was on the floor, full of cauliflower. All the carrots were gone, and then I found the broccoli. I was completely amused. To this day, broccoli is the only food I can think of that he won't eat.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. That's an interesting post. It was worth visiting your blog. Hope to visit again.UNCONDITIONAL LOVE