Friday, December 23, 2011

The One with "Just a Dog"

Each year my mom has noticed that one phrase seems to stand out for her, almost like an annual phrase that everyone suddenly adopts and she soon starts to loathe but eventually catches herself saying by the time the next phrase is "on her list." A couple of the more recent phrases, which my mom has succumbed to and has added to her vocabulary: "It is what it is" and "Just sayin'." However, this year's phrase she will NEVER add to her vocabulary and it's beyond annoying to her AND to ME!

Before the arrival of my mini-two-legger, we heard from various sources about the assumed inevitability of having to "get rid of" us pups. Oooo.. my mom was SO annoyed by those comments. And did the comments amp up when Nico came first home? You bet! "They're just dogs," people would say, "you need to focus on that baby!" Uh... hello?? We're her babies too!! (No one has dared say anything to her lately, since it's obvious how much we all love our baby brother!)

She's been keyed into that phrase all year and has heard people randomly say, "just a dog," now and then. But, last night, catching up on blogs, we read Ms. Sandra's post where she was told "they were just dogs." My mom, bawling her eyes out reading her post, couldn't believe her teary eyes. On a good day, we feel sorry for those two-leggers who don't know what a gift it is to love a dog or how wonderful it is to be loved unconditionally by a dog. On a bad day... well... our feelings are not as generous.

It reminds her of this poem:

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."

They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog,"
and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust,
and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away
from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog",
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man or woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog"
just smile...
because they "just don't understand."

by Richard Bib


  1. OMG... the comment worked this time!

  2. I love this...I totally understand what you're saying and where you're coming from. I've known people who thought that just because we don't have our seniors for very long that we couldn't possibly love them, and because we've lost so many, losing them is not difficult. As I sit here my heart is still feels that ache over a dog that I only had for 24 days--They really don't understand, do they? I also feel sorry for them...

  3. Hey Zona Girl!
    Wow, what a great post! Hearing things like that about us pooches gets me fired up too. Boy does it ever tick off my Mom and my Dad shakes his head at the coldness of some peeps. Great poem and I try to pity those folks because they are missing out, but mostly they just anger me. A big Sarge grrrrrrr to them.
    BTW: If anyone says that to you, let me know and I'll run down and bite 'em a good one. Then I can say, "it's just a dog...bite"! BOL
    Grr and a Devoted Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  4. Totally awesome post. You rock, Mom.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  5. Hawt Squirrel!!! YOU said a PERFECT mouthful!!
    I am TOTALLY in your corner with this one!!!
    SOME peeps are just Stoopid. That is all we can say about them... they are STOOPID.. STUPID EVEN.

  6. This poem dose say so much on so many levels bout humanity and what our higher nature can and should be. It also points to how easy it is to marginalise both human and nonhuman. Great post

  7. What a beautiful poem!

    I NEVER would consider my dogs as "just a dog!" I've had people comment like that about mine but I would never ever say that to someone else. It ticks me off that anyone would ever say that to Sandra after what she's been through.

    I would also never just presume that if I had a baby, I would automatically give up my dogs. Nor would I expect others to in that situation.

    Part of the reason Chico's former owners gave him up is because they had a baby. They kept Chico outside or in the garage most of the time and rarely let him in the house. This was after he was rescued from a puppy mill!

    The asst. manager at one of my jobs -- her boyfriend moved in and shortly after, got a puppy. She hated that puppy from day one. After it ate some of the plants in her garden, she got rid of it. Her bf was away on a business trip at the time and didn't know about it until he got back. When I commented that her bf was bound to be angry about her just giving the dog away, she said something to the effect of, "Why would he be angry? It's just a dog!" She was a B**** of mega-proportions anyway and this added to my disdain for her.

    OK, I'll shut up now!



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