Does your dog have a “job” or a purpose in life?
I do think every dog has a job to do, if given a chance.
My dog Ace has the very important role of being my emotional sidekick. He takes his job seriously, and I often wonder if he feels overwhelmed sometimes. Like, smothered by love.
It’s a tough job to be anyone’s moral support all the time, don’t you think?
When I adopted Ace, I was unhappy at my job, and I was depressed much of the time. He brought me to a better place just by giving me a new responsibility, new goals, a new routine.
He became my marathon training partner, and eventually with my husband’s encouragement I quit my job and started my dog running business and this blog. One of the best and most important decisions of my life.
Not only that, but Ace has helped socialize about a dozen dogs that would otherwise have very few or no dog friends.
He has the ability to remain easygoing even when another dog is tense or reactive. He has that fun, goofy energy without getting too excited, and other dogs seem to realize he is safe.
I did not train him to do this. I just noticed his ability and allowed him to use it.
So yes, Ace has a purpose, some very important jobs, and my life would be very different if I had not adopted him.
Would I be crazy to think cats have jobs?
My cat Beamer has lots of jobs.
For one, he is a great hunter. That may not seem like a very useful job for an indoor cat, but he is very good at his job.
So far, not a single crumb has lasted more than 30 seconds in any of our apartments. Not one, and it’s been nine years.
And like Ace, Beamer has been extremely helpful with socializing our foster dogs.
Of course, I would never put Beamer in a position where he would be unsafe. But, as soon as I bring a dog into a room with Beamer, I can tell right away by Beamer’s reaction how the dog is going to be around cats.
If the dog is nervous and excited, Beamer simply ignores it. He may even turn around and face the other way, basically saying this dog is not a threat. He knows when to calmly move away to safety or when to give a quick, firm smack.
He can read a dog so much better than I ever will, and he has been very helpful over the years. Never over-reacting. Never losing his cool.
And our little guy, Scout?
He is a companion. That may not seem complex, but it is.
I adopted Scout when I lived alone in a new town and literally needed another living creature to hold and love. I imagine that is why a lot of people adopt pets.
He met this need, curling up in my arms at night, sleeping right up against my chest. When I came home from a stressful day at work, he greeted me at the door with little mews. When I left again, he’d watch me from the window.
[quote_center]”Some people may not think of household pets as ‘working animals’ but I think they would be wrong.”[/quote_center]
Today, he curls up in my lap as I write. Or, he sleeps on the dog bed at my feet. He is always nearby, always wants to be where the people are gathering. (We call him The Creeper, actually.) I like that about him.
Scout makes us smile and laugh every day, usually at his expense, but that in itself is an important role.
Some people may not think of household pets as “working animals” but I think they would be wrong.
My pets are all working animals, in their own ways, and they do good work.
What do you think?
Do your pets have jobs or a purpose?
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