Under One Woof

Humber Et Cetera's Pets and Animals Blog

Life with another dog

on April 9, 2012

My cousin's Australian Shepherd Riker, in all his glory

By Michael Radoslav

I live with a dog…that’s such a weird thing to write. It’s not like we split on rent or anything, but I guess he does try and fulfill his part of that deal in his own way through face licking. It is not my dog it’s my cousin’s, which is why I say I live with him and he’s not a dog of my own.

And since my pet ferret passed away last year – and my family’s dog the year prior to that – it’s great to have that pet companionship once again, which is something that as touted as it is, may still be underrated. It is a different scenario though when you live with another person’s dog, a different relationship that at times requires the following sentence – ‘remember, this is not your dog.’

The morning walks, the rushing home to make sure he eats and mandatory trips home to ensure he gets out before he pees all over the place are not a concern. Definitely enjoy the money I’m saving from buying food, taking them to the vet, buying toys and all the other little things that come along with pet ownership.

I love that Australian Shepherd – his name is Riker. That’s not in question at all, not one bit!  However after having my own pet, and a family pet as well, it’s definitely a difference. It is nice to just be allowed to have fun with the dog, play around and go on the occasional walk through High Park without worrying about him all the time. This must be what grandparents feel like, once the kid gets cranky they go back to their kids, the parents, to deal with.

But it’s something I’ve noticed. One of the areas this is seen is through the minor differences in how I treated my pets versus their methods. Every once and a while I have to remind myself they must do as they see fit, it is not my place to interfere. I guess to that extent it is somewhat educational, learning new tricks of the trade.

And the other area is in the dog’s first preference to go to my cousin first and foremost. The one amazing thing about pets is how they love unconditionally. I still get my fill of affection, but it’s not the same as having that best friend right by your side at all times.

One day I will get my own pet once again, and this has also reminded me of this fact. It’s a nice transition as I finish up school, to have a pet without the added responsibilities. But at the same time, as much as I love the guy, cannot wait to get one of my own once again.

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