I have a number of friends who regularly take in street dogs until they can find a good home for them. I have other friends who just have a number of dogs from taking in so many.
It was merely a matter of time before one of those little critters took up residence in our cochera.
And last Tuesday, it happened.
We bought him a collar, a leash, dog food, a vet visit. Unless someone comes looking for him, he´s here to stay.
At first, it seemed like the right thing to do. And, now that I´m getting familiar with this dog´s personality, I´m really liking him and think he´s a great dog for us.
But sometimes I wonder, is it really fair of me to keep him? Are we doing him any favors? Sure, he gets fresh water and regular meals and isn´t bothered by scary dogs a lot bigger than him on the street. He no longer has to worry about getting run over by cars. He gets petted and played with and a walk or two a day.
But would he rather be on the street? Clearly, I´ve seen Lady and the Tramp too many times. That, and he was pretty reluctant to get back in the cochera after our walk this evening. But maybe that was because he was reprimanded from digging up my plants AGAIN this afternoon. (The plants will be moved to the patio tomorrow.)
Am I keeping him around just to be a big toy for myself and my kids or is it really in his best interest to live in our cochera?
I´ve never had a dog before, so these questions are bothering me a bit. I realize that they aren´t questions that necessarily have right or wrong answers.
My original reasons for inviting the dog to live with us?
1) To scare away my schizophrenic neighbor who throws bags of nearly rotten food into our cochera because he thinks his mother lives with us (yes, that´s a whole other story). And it didn´t work. The dog just eats whatever David gives him.
2) My kids are every bit as terrified of dogs as I was as a kid. If there´s any way for them to get over this fear, I´d love to help them through it. Keeping a dog seems to be a logical step. Even though Joey keeps a death grip on my shorts each time we step into the cochera, we seem to be making huge strides in this area this week. After awhile, Joey will let go of my shorts, maybe even pet the puppy, and often hop on his tricycle (which I think makes him feel bigger and braver). Clara has blossomed marvelously and likes to feed him, give him toys, pet him, boss him around . . .
So despite my nagging doubts, I am glad we´ve got him. I even just like playing with him myself. And since this is a long-haul project, I´m sure the answers will get clearer over time.
It´s all just a little overwhelming now, as I week ago I didn´t have the slightest idea that we´d be ¨dog people¨.