Sunday, July 15, 2007

On Freedom, Reponsibilties and Dogs


The old saying is that freedom happens when the kids grow up and the dog dies. Well my kids are all grown up and there hasn't been a dog in the house for almost three years.

I've only owned two dogs in my lifetime - Strawberry, a female Landseer Newfoundland and Baxter, a male black Newfoundland.

Its time to own another dog - or is it?


The picture above is by Landseer (the black and white Newfies are called landseers after the artist) and is called Saved.

If I did get another dog it would definitely be a Newf - they are gentle giants - smart, loyal and there is always a 'presence' when they are around. They are incredible swimmers, quietly protective and loyal to a fault

This is what Lord Byron had to say about Newfs.

Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog
by Lord Byron

When some proud son of man returns to earth
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptur'd art exhausts the art of woe,
And stoned urns record who rest below;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been;
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to wwelcome, foremost to defend;
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes, for him alone
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in Heaven the soul he held on earth;
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claimls himself sole exclusive of Heaven!
Oh, man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debas'd by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who, perchance, behold this single Urn
Pass on--it none you wish to mourn:
To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise,
I never knew but one, and here he lies.

Newstead Abbey, November 30,1808

On one side of the pedestal supporting the antique urn he had inscribed:

NEAR THIS SPOT
ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS OF ONE
WHO POSSESSED BEAUTY WITHOUT VANITY
STRENGTH WITHOUT INSOLENCE
COURAGE WITHOUT FEROCITY
AND ALL THE VIRTUES OF MAN WITHOUT HIS VICES
THIS PRAISE WHICH WOULD BE
UNMEANING FLATTERY
IF INSCRIBED OVER HUMAN ASHES IS BUT A JUST TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF
BOATSWAIN, A DOG
WHO WAS BORN AT NEWFOUNDLAND, MAY 1803,
AND DIED AT NEWSTEAD ABBEY,
NOVEMBER 18, 1808.


So what's holding me up? I enjoyed the companionship of the dogs and I enjoyed watching them grow and change and grow to love me and my family. I would like that again

But dogs are a responsibility. For the last few years I don't worry about when to be home. We can leave town at the drop of a hat. And it goes on and on.

If I got a dog now I would constantly be concerned with being with dog, the dog's health, walking and feeding the dog. Good responsibilities yet responsibilities nonetheless.

So do I or don't I?

I've filled out a form for a breeder who will be having some litters in the fall.

I'm one step closer

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responsibility, Yes. I can now say that I have had 4 dogs, two I have gotten in the past year, each with more and more responsibility landing on my shoulders.

If I have taken one thing from the dogs it is that the older I get, the more rewarding the dogs are.

So, at your age another dog will be like winning the lottery......;-)

Mark

1:21 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Get a dog. You will smile more and laugh often! There is nothing like the unconditional love they share!

8:24 PM  

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