They are the loyalist of friends. They protect us, comfort us — and fetch our slippers. It is for these qualities that so many choose them as pets. And while everyone has their favourite breed, generally dog lovers appreciate them all from Dane to Yorkie.
Personally, I've never cared whether or not I could actually determine what breed of dog I have. I've always owned mutts and I rather like their mix of traits, which often results in a lot of personality.
That my first pup didn't turn me off dogs forever is a testament I suppose to how much I like them. Tiny was a chihuahua-fox terrier amalgam that we inherited from a cousin who couldn't handle him. Besides erupting in vicious barks and snarls when anyone came near, he also had a penchant for snapping at petting hands. Insisting upon sleeping under my bedcovers, and at seven who was I to argue, he frequently awakened me with sharp teeth on toes when my feet had strayed too close.
Nasty little critter though he was, he someone managed to steal my heart, curling up on my lap as I sat on the floor watching TV, sharing an ice-cream cone on family road trips, or just being around when I felt alone. Somehow I came to accept that his feisty personality was not a reflection of his feelings towards me, but more an attitude.
He was followed by Skipper, a gorgeous Samoyed-collie cross; Freakie, a licking loving bundle of hound and something; Angie my most perfect, a faithful and gentle German Shepherd-collie; the rough, roaming Buffy, whose border collie mother had a one-night stand with, of all things, a cocker spaniel and finally my beautiful, protective Ani, the result of a Siberian husky in heat jumping a fence.
They were all wonderfully perfect in their imperfections, unpredictable in personality, but still in possession of the most pronounced of canine character traits — unconditional love. It is in celebration of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month that I think about these dear old pets of mine and suggest that anyone considering bringing a dog into their lives consider the homeless.
And going hand in hand with that are some terrific collections of dog illustrations to promote this October observance or to use in any project where pooches rule:
Clipart.com Dog Illustrations
ClickArt Online Dogs
Acclaim Images Dogs
TOONClipart Dog Cartoons