Parents

Leslie was able to rescue Z’s mom and dad among the dogs she purchased at the auction over the weekend. Leslie arranged for Z to spend some time with her parents. She reported that while there was basically no connection between Z and her dad (save the same spots on their tummies and black/white coat), Z and her mom felt “something” immediately. Actually, Z growled at her mom at first, obviously smelling something that she usually smells on herself. But before long, they were sniffing of each other and being friendly with one another.
One wonders if they knew of their connection. Animals obviously have different senses than us humans (witness Abby staying away from Z when the little one was on the verge of death when we first brought her home from the pet store); dogs sniff and smell better than most. Either way, I’m happy Z and her parents had the chance to spend some time together.
But for our dogs at least, we are now their parents. We care for all of their needs, eating, drinking, bathing, etc. We provide them the love and attention they crave. And they love us back. Z didn’t growl or get upset when Leslie separated her from her birth mom and dad. But she did when Leslie left the house yesterday to run some errands. While I was taking a shower this morning, I noticed the curtain being moved; Abby was trying to get in with me (hind legs on the floor, front on the side of the tub) and started crying when she couldn’t.
What I’ve learned from having two such wonderful dogs, and from hearing about some of Leslie’s experiences in Missouri, is that parentage of a dog is not really who births them. It’s who cares for them.
Some proponents of puppy mills argue that dogs are really predators that Americans selfishly domesticate for companionship. If these people would take a minute away from seeing dogs as a money-making enterprise and instead focus on them as loving, caring members of a family, perhaps their tune might change. I’m not counting on it though. So maybe it’s time to bring the education to them.

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