Personal Dog or Family Dog?

Although by looking at the title one may think: what is the difference between having a personal dog or a family dog? that difference does exist.

Circumstances in the lives of humans vary from one person to another and also continuously. We have read many times that the only constant in life is change, so the reason or reasons one may have today to want a dog may not be the same ones to be considered tomorrow.

Take, for example, a person who has always lived within a family nucleus: spouse, children, the whole enchilada. Due to sad circumstances in life, the spouse is no longer present because death has hit, the children are all grown up and live far away and the person in question finds himself alone for the very first time. What typically hits him? The sense of loneliness, of course. If that person still works, some of his hours are probably filled with the company of others, but when he reaches home, the same feeling is there.

If, on the other hand, he has retired, those hours need to be filled with something else. Television and computers can occupy certain moments of the day but they can never substitute the company of a living thing. That is when, as it happens many times, the person in question might start considering getting a dog to keep him company.

Let us think now about a young person who was used when living with his family to having a dog around and now finds himself again with the empty space in his life.

There are those who suffer some kind of physical limitation and know there are dogs that are specially trained to help people like him.

Others fear living alone and like having a guard dog around that makes them feel a little more secure. Still others look at the dog as a means of business or making money by selling the puppies and making extra cash that way.

All of the above, and there are other examples, look at dogs for personal reasons or purposes and those dogs will be there to fulfill whatever their master needs are.

If we imagine, on the other hand, bringing a dog home because we live in a family and consider dogs as part of that family and not as something to serve our personal needs, then we should be thinking about a family dog. That dog is there to give but also to receive all its members can offer in return for its company, loyalty and love.

Bringing a dog into the family also requires analysis before making that decision. I have talked before about the composition of that nucleus. Are there only adults, or are there children or adolescents too? What are their ages, obligations, needs and interests? Those questions have to be answered thoroughly before bringing the dog in because depending on those answers, we can determine not only what kind of dog to bring home, but also what are the family members willing to give the animal. This reciprocal relationship has to be there. The dog is a living thing, one who needs attention, care and love and is not just another ornament in the house.

Personal or family dogs, these wonderful animals will certainly fill anybody’s life in many fantastic ways.