Today in honor of SPCA’s special day, I must mention how a pet, whatever pet you may choose, adds value to your life. You may own a pet or rescue a pet from another owner or shelter, or visit a pet at an animal shelter, or work with animals/pets in a professional capacity, or finally just get a kick from their antics as a pet owner walks the pet by your home each day. The joy from sharing our planet with another species is endless.

I have a black labradoodle named ‘Othello’. He is over eleven years, well into his 70s when we compare human years. He nuzzles with everyone. I think that he has great self esteem because he believes that all humans and other animals love him and wish to cuddle him. He is rather large to cuddle but will, if you allow him to jump on your lap. When I am feeling under the weather, Othello sits on my feet and creates minimal disturbance. I think on some level he knows that I’m not well. I am aware that we humans are always trying to make our animals into humans. I say, don’t. My dog is a dog, but on a subliminal level knows things, sniffs things, anticipates actions when I am not aware of what is evolving in our little universe together. He runs in the yard like a gazelle and his grace is a wonder to behold. I often think that he has radar because he has never broken anything in our home. We, the humans who live in this home, regularly trip or drop items. He does not despite the fact that he has some mild cataracts. He is well named, for he is a prince.

Life without Othello is not an idea I wish to deal with now. I will someday; maybe sooner than I now expect. Large dogs life expectancy perhaps may reach fourteen years. He appears healthy. I know that our lives will be smaller when he leaves us. Yes he requires us to work a little on his health and everyday needs; but in doing so, we do so much for ourselves as well.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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