Disadvantages of owning dogs are also best advantages

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We're always amazed at the amount of time and effort, not to mention dollars, people are willing to devote to their pets.

A recent study determined that cats think of humans as just big cats, which explains a lot about their attitude toward their owners.

Gazette reporters write a lot about pets, but most of the stories are about dogs, and, unfortunately, most of those stories are negative in nature. That includes airing of complaints about a local dog kennel at Monday night's City Council meeting.

The McCook Humane Society's struggle to keep up with its work is also a regular topic, especially when someone dumps large numbers of small dogs in our county, an all-too-regular occurrence.

So what is the attraction between people and their dogs?

Yes, puppies are cute -- sometimes the ugliest ones are the cutest -- but puppies grow up. While they're at it, they relieve themselves all over the house, chew up anything they can get ahold of, bark, dig, require grooming, feeding and medical care (Obamacare doesn't cover veterinary service).

They also run off, may bite people, and don't live all that long.

Most of all, dogs need attention, and lots of it. They have to be trained out of their bad habits, they need to play, be petted and snuggle on your lap -- even larger dogs sometimes think they're lap dogs.

Come to think of it, unless we're a delivery person, that's why we love dogs. They demand to be walked, to play Frisbee, to be scratched on their tummy. Neglect to take them outside, and they'll remind you of your oversight in a most unpleasant manner.

Nothing can take your mind off your own troubles like a friend who greets you at the door, who thinks you can do no wrong and wants to spend every minute making you happy.

And, nothing can teach a child responsibility, or serve as a companion, better than a dog.

Not all of us can, or should, be pet owners, but that doesn't mean we can't help take care of pets that need help.

One way is the annual Shoot for the Shelter 8-ball pool tournament at Kelley Creek Pub, at the Republican River Valley Event Center, 905 E. Seventh in McCook.

Registration should be completed by 9:45 a.m. so the tournament can begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Lunch will be 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. by Goose Pit BBQ and Catering, $7 per plate of pulled pork or brisket sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad and chips.

But if you're capable of caring for a dog -- or cat -- consider adopting an animal from the McCook Humane Society. You'll find a lifetime friend.

Find out more at http://www.mccookhumanesociety.com, call (308) 345-2372 or visit 100 South Street from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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