I guess you all know how much I love my dog – he’s the light of my eye – but I never really delved into why I decided to start working with dogs and pursue veterinary school.
I go home for lunch every day because I work only 3 minutes away. When I get home, I see Zeus’s giant head staring at me through the back gate. I can only see his head, but from the way his head is moving, I can tell that his tail is going 100 miles a minute. His ears are perked so stiffly, that his head is practically a box. I stand still and just stare at him for 5 seconds. Sometimes this just agonizes him and he barks at me. After my 5 seconds of tormenting him is up, I bolt to the front door, and he bolts to the back door to meet me. When I open the back door, he runs circles around me; I think I saw him do a back flip once. He eventually calms down, and for my half hour lunch we hang out on the back patio while I eat my lunch and he suns himself.
When I get home from work later in the day, we do the same routine. I hang out for a little, grab a snack, relax. Then I ask Zeus if he wants to go for a walk. His ears perk up just a little, as if he’s telling me “I’m listening…” But then I go to put my shoes on, and he jumps up! He starts following me around the house. Then I go for the cabinet where we keep the leashes and his harness. He goes ballistic. He’s dancing around the kitchen. I’m not even kidding you, he’s dancing. I tell him to sit so I can put his harness on, and he sits for half a second before doing a full 360 turn. Then he realizes his harness is not on, and he really sits. I put his harness on and then his leash and we race to the front door.
When we get back from our lovely walk of perking our ears at birds and trying not to cry over the mean neighborhood dogs barking at us, we sit down and I give him a head rub or a belly rub. He immediately relaxes in my arms and leans into me, trusting me with holding up his whole 80 pound body.
Me – I do things during the day; I work full time, I volunteer on evenings and weekends. But Zeus – he spends his whole day waiting for his people to get home. (I’m not his only people, I’m just his favorite people.) He spends the entirety of his day loving us more than any human words could express.
I don’t ever think about Zeus not being around, because that to me, is lifetimes away. I do know that I want to give him the best life possible, and I want to help other people give their pets the best life possible. By taking them out and showing them our world, we are showing them that we love them too and that we want them to see our world. We are showing them that we want them with us, inside the house and outside the house. I know that there are diets and foods that make a healthy pet, but I am convinced that love is what keeps them around longer.