I think I'm a pretty good pet owner. I take Sally to the dog park just about every day, skipping Saturdays or Sundays sometimes when we've been around the house all day anyway. She is not a working dog by any means, but repays me and Mr W by being an affectionate and good-natured dog. This picture was taken about a year ago at the dog park, and when our friend J crouched down to take the picture, Sally lunged forward. J did get out of the way and didn't get knocked over, I'm happy to report.
I got Sally after my other dog died, and wanted specifically to get a puppy, and further to get something that I knew would be really good with kids, as Mr W was six at the time. I don't remember how I first learned about Labradoodles, but everything I read suggested that would be a good choice. In fact, when I was asking questions of the woman I eventually bought Sally from, she couldn't name anything to really watch out for in their personalities, besides energy. I found Sally by searching the Denver online classifieds ("we met online"). The going price for Doodles at the time was close to $1000 and she was much less expensive, being the product of two pets instead of more papered dogs. And it's worked out great. She's a wonderful, healthy dog.
Now, the dog muffin part. On the scale of how people treat their dogs, 1 being they live outside, aren't considered part of the family and work for a living, and 10 being dogs who have their toe nails painted, get dressed in jewelry and eat exclusively people food, I'm about a 5. She's an indoor dog, and part of the fam, but she gets dog food, cheap dog treats and rawhide. At the dog park, there's a group of us who end up going at the same time each day, so we walk around together. It was one dog's birthday so her owner made dog muffins (like people muffins, but less sugar, fat and salt) for all her dog's friends. This owner has a treadmill for her dog, too. Yes, I can snicker, but there is no doubt this one shelter mutt scored big in terms of the good life.
So, while I'm not the sort to bake treats for my dog's friends, I'm still a pretty attentive owner. I suppose the fact that the dog can't appreciate how poorly some other dogs get treated is the paradoxical outcome of being a good pet owner. I wonder about the same for Mr W. We are by no means rich, but he wants for nothing and has a lot of stuff, as do many kids of his generation. It's hard for him to get his head around how bad it is for a lot of the world by me just telling him. Indeed, I am of the mind that our place in life obligates us to do something to return the favor, and my efforts are fledgling, but we're on it.