01624: Yoshi Will Forever Be Our Baby

Owning a dog is somewhat like having an infant that never grows up. I do not say this to belittle the challenges of raising an actual child - just as a rough metaphor to capture what the experience is like.

I compare having a dog to child-rearing because of the fact that you need to care for their every need. Beyond the basics of feeding them and making sure to clean up after their little messes, you also need to make sure that you give them sufficient attention on a daily basis, help them learn to socialize with others and of course care for their medical needs. And the last bit is what most feels like having a baby since just the regular vaccinations alone will cost you an arm and a leg. What more when your dog actually becomes sick, right?

And while this is also true for other pets like cats, the demeanor of cats tends to be completely different. Cats tend to have their own mind about things and like to go hunting on their own. While dogs are perfectly content doing the things that you do, cats have completely different agendas that don't necessarily factor you in. This is not to say that they don't love you - it's just that they're not as obvious about it. Dogs on the other hand reward your attention with even more love and affection in return, which is quite remarkable.

I think about these sorts of things whenever it comes time to give Yoshi a bath (like yesterday) or when we need to bring him back to the vet for his check-ups (like today). There's a lot of care and attention that goes into caring for a pet - or any other living creature. It's a responsibility as much as it feels like a privilege at times.

So I'm thankful that I was raised to love pets and I'm even happier that Tobie has come to get past his fear of dogs and learn to live the life of a dog-owner. It's a remarkable experience that I feel everyone should go through at least once in their lives - but usually when that happens you tend to get hooked. And that's not a bad thing at all.
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