Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Four-Pound Family Member

Everyone who has brought a Yorkie into her life will know exactly what I’m talking about.  The distinction between man and beast begins to blur.  Arguments about whether animals have true emotions, or mere response mechanisms, end.

The cats are different, with cats, it's all about them.  But our Yorkie, Kujo, knows that he is a full participant in our family life.  He communicates with us through distinctive little barks, snorts, growls, or whines.  When he wants to be picked up to share in adult conversations he uses a little bark.  To wake us in the morning he quietly snorts or coughs.  He loves to answer the door, and keeps us advised when the cats (in his opinion) misbehave.

Kujo simply cannot understand why we have to go on vacation, and tells us over and over again how much he missed us while we were gone.  In fact, he can’t imagine why we need to go anywhere without him.  To prove it, he takes the lead when we go walking, clearing a path free of danger and vermin – especially those Labs and German Shepherds!  He dares them to come out from behind their fences, to step outside their protective castles.  “Don’t make me come over there and shut you up, big boy!  You’re not going to like it!”

Unlike the birds and squirrels we enjoy seeing in the yard, our pets are incorporated into our lives like family members.  We know they’re totally dependent on us but they give back as much as they take.

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