Eye care

Pets are worth it, most of the time – McCook Daily Gazette

Local 4-H’ers and their dogs take a break at the recent dog show.

Staci Blomstedt/Courtesy phono

It is innocent at first. Just a quick stop at the Humane Society to see what dogs and cats are there. Later that night, the discussion over the dinner table is a listing of all the dogs the Humane Society has available that would be suitable but one dog at home is enough.

A few days later, another stop at the Humane Society, just to see if the same dogs and cats are available. Later that night, another discussion but reason sets in that a new puppy would be a lot of work.

But the look of those puppy-dog eyes – literally puppy-dog eyes – gazing through the gate lingers in the background. And that is how just a few days later a puppy makes its way into a new home.

Why do we have pets? Who was the first person to bring an animal inside and live with them?

Aren’t they more work than they are worth sometimes?

Yet, animals are an integral part of our lives. We can’t imagine our days without them.

Our love of animals is why we spend billions of dollars a year to pamper, feed and care for them. Why else would there be a market for cat-sized rain jackets and St. Bernard-sized sweaters?

Just look around at what we do for our animals, all out of love.

Last weekend, the local 4-Hers held their first dog show on the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.

These young people spend weeks upon weeks working with their dogs to obey commands and follow instructions. They spend countless hours grooming their canines so they look presentable in the ring, only for some of them to encounter a skunk the night before. (Baking soda, the answer to cleaning skunk smell is baking soda.)

But it isn’t just about the animals. The young people learn discipline, they learn control, they learn that even though they may do everything right, some things are out of their control. After all, they are still working with an animal. But most importantly, they get to be around animals they love.

Our love of animals is why the McCook K9 Korner Dog Park was created. The dog park allows people to have their animals, in spite of the size of their dwelling. It allows people to enjoy the outdoors with their dog in a safe environment.

Our love of animals is why the McCook Humane Society exists. We don’t want to see animals being mistreated or abandoned. We want them to have a good home. At the end of the day, we want them to be loved.

And that is how we end up with a new dog in the home. A new dog who chews up expensive headphones left lying on the bed. A new dog who chases the cats who have called the residence home for years. A new dog who is insistent that the older dog will play with him by gnawing on his leg.

But at the end of the day when the new dog lays his head on your lap, wanting nothing more than to have his ears scratched but giving nothing but love back, you realize why animals have made their ways into our homes…and into our hearts. Hopefully, the good outweighs the bad.

What do pets bring to our lives? Simply put, they make our homes… an even better place to call home.

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Correction to last week’s column: The performance of “Swashbuckling Scallywags and Sweethearts” in Norris Alley in May was put on by the McCook Community College theater, not the Southwest Nebraska Community Theater Association.

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