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The other day while I was going through some old photograph albums, I happened across a picture of a dog that I owned when I was much younger and not very mature.
He was a large Cocker Spaniel and boy was he a handful! ‘Hyper’ would be an under statement. This big fellow could hear you unlocking the front door all the way from the back of the house, run into the living room and clear the entire couch with no problem, whatsoever. I mean he could jump totally over that entire couch without even touching it.
I could not do anything without this dog wanting to be near me. If I cooked something in the kitchen, he was there beside me. If I worked in the yard, he followed me. If I went underneath the house to fix a broken water pipe, he was there and when I went to bed at night, he was right there beside me wanting to wrestle.
When I look at his picture, I am somewhat ashamed of myself. Even though I was very young at the time, how could I have been so heartless to give Kibbles away to a friend of mine who wanted to breed him with his two female Cocker Spaniels? I didn't really think that being given away for the purpose of breeding and living on a big ranch out in the country would be too bad a life for a male dog. Really, but what would happen after that was all over? What then for Kibbles?
I picked up the phone and called my friend, who still lives on that ranch in California and I asked him about Kibbles. He told me that Kibbles had died several years before at age 13, but that he enjoyed a wonderful life running about the ranch, chasing cows and chickens, and making the most beautiful little puppies that he had ever seen.
The part that bothers me is that is what happened to me as a little boy. I was quite a handful as a child. I remember I painted our fence with a paintbrush and motor oil after seeing the neighbor do it to his own house. All I wanted to be was a painter just like him. After that happened, my grandpa and grandma gave me away to the orphanage, just like I did to Kibbles.
I tell this story because I do not want anyone to ever make the same terrible mistake that I made. I do not want anyone to ever have to feel as badly as I do right now, while looking at Kibble's picture. When one takes on and accepts the responsibility of a pet, it must be done with total ‘unconditional love’ and ‘all the circumstances’ of the home, property and other family members must be considered.
I now have four Cocker Spaniels and a large chow named Cody. They have a big fenced yard and are very well fed and taken care of. No matter what they do, they will never be sent off to the ‘orphanage’ like me and Kibbles were. A loving home is where they are going to stay for the remainder of their lives - always safe and secure with dad and mom.