We Are Happy With Our New Golden Retriever
We finally got a dog!
She is a 3-month-old purebred golden retriever. It was love at first sight when we saw her at the pet store. From our very first interactions, we knew she was the one. We named her Lucky because the golden color of her coat is associated with good fortune in various cultures. Lucky is also short for “malaki,” the Filipino word for “big.” She’s quite large for her age, and we expect she’ll grow even bigger soon.
Though we had other breeds in mind, my husband, Jared, and I decided to go with a golden retriever due to the breed’s playfulness, intellect, and friendly temperament. Because of these characteristics, they are often hailed as the “perfect family dog.”
Now that we are getting to know our dog better, it seems she and our daughter, Cittie, are alike in several ways! They are both hyperactive and easily excitable. Lucky always barks loudly upon seeing us; Cittie exclaims, “Mama!” or “Dada!” in an ecstatic voice the moment she catches sight of us.
Cittie took to the new dog more quickly than we expected. A true introvert, she is quiet and reserved around new people. Not with Lucky, though. Within seconds of seeing her, Cittie began saying “doggy,” “woof,” “puppy,” and “Bingo” (the name of the dog in the YouTube videos she watches).
She stroked Lucky’s fur, touched her little doggy nose, and sat by the dog cage, watching Lucky jump up and down in delight. At one point, we even recorded Cittie shushing the dog and telling her to be quiet. I found it hilarious because ironically, the dog was quiet, and Cittie was in fact the noisy one!
Jared thinks our home’s energy is much more positive now that we have a dog around. Dogs were a huge part of his childhood, as his family used to breed them and keep some as pets. He always tells me that he felt so close to the dogs they had. He often delighted in grooming and training them. Whenever he had to stay home due to a bleeding episode, the dogs kept him company, and he didn’t feel so alone.
I got to know the last two dogs Jared’s family owned. They were Shetland sheepdogs, or “shelties” for short, which were medium-sized dogs with a lap dog temperament. They would bark loudly at the sound of a family member’s car horn and come racing for the door, tails wagging. Occasionally, we gave them scraps of meat, which they heartily devoured. Whenever our bedroom door was open, they came racing in, leaped onto the bed, and asked for head and neck rubs.
It is scientifically proven that pets can uplift one’s psychological well-being. Just 10 minutes of interacting with a dog or a cat improves your mood and reduces stress. Living with a disability can be stressful at times, and owning a pet can be a great way to counter this.
We can’t wait to finally have Lucky out of the cage and running around the house. We hope we can train her to follow commands and behave in desirable ways. Although she is not exactly a service dog, the fact that she makes us happy is a great service to us all.
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