So when I saw this video from the Dogs Trust #GetADog campaign, I instantly loved it. It’s less than a minute long and well worth a watch.
Of course, getting a dog is a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly. It’s a lot of responsibility. It’s expensive. But so is an iPhone.
The Dogs Trust have recently carried out a survey. Of those people who had a dog as a child, 93 per cent of them said that having them enriched their lives.
That’s a high percentage. I can only assume the remaining 7 per cent of people misunderstood the question.
For me personally, there is no question or deliberation over where to get a dog from. They always come from rescue organisations like the Dogs Trust.
Dogs are put to sleep every day because they can’t find a home and still people buy dogs from breeders. I can’t see how that’s okay.
The Dogs Trust never put a healthy dog down, but sadly not all dogs are lucky enough to make their way to the Dogs Trust.
So, what have my children gained from having rescue dogs?
Well for a start, they go outside. Not just when we’re on holiday, on sunny days or when we pay them. In fact, there’s nowhere else they’d rather be.
When they want someone to play with, we can’t always give them our undivided attention. No parent can. But they’re never on their own.
Libby loves to play doctors. Lia is usually a willing patient, but if she’s sleeping or doesn’t want to play, Bubbles is always happy to volunteer.
Both girls understand the importance of tidying up.
Having a puppy has taught them that if you don’t put your toys away, they get chewed.
Walking in the fields has taught them that when people don’t clean up after their dogs, the mess stays there for people to tread in.
They have learnt that life is for living in the here and now and there is no place for dwelling on the past.
They know that a warm and loving welcome will always be waiting for them at home.
Having dogs has taught them that holidays are not all about swanky hotels and organised activities.
The joy of camping has been instilled into them at an early age.
Having a dog has taught them that someone will always be watching over them, protecting them from danger.
Rescue dogs know all about difficult times, they’ve been there.
So if you’re feeling a bit down, they’ll always be there to cheer you up.
Saying goodbye to someone you love is difficult to cope with at any time of life.
I know people who agonise over explaining to children about death.
But at such a young age, Libby understands it as much as anyone can. We talk about it regularly. She knows how to love someone who is gone.
She understands that they will always live on our hearts and our memories.
Please note, this was a collaborative post. All views, opinions, dogs past and present and children who love to be outdoors are my own.
If you are considering taking a dog into your home, please head to the Dogs Trust to talk to them about finding the best dog for you and your family.