Throughout the course of my life, I've encountered my own share of dogs. From early childhood days, I recall having several dogs that stayed temporarily with us until my dad's next military assignment. Though my parents took good care of our animals, military life was unsuitable for animal adoptions as in most cases, animals were not permitted to go back overseas with us; thus we were inevitably forced to find homes for our pets.
In 1983, my parents adopted our first 'forever' dog. She was a beautiful, graceful German Shepherd mix. Because my oldest sister had small children, my mom kept 'Apollo' outside in the backyard. Living in the South, my family was virtually unaware of the risk of heartworms . In Europe, heartworms didn't exist, and unfortunately, the SPCA where Apollo had been adopted did not pass out information on these dreadful predators. While our Apollo was continually outside, she was even more susceptible to the deadly mosquito infestation. After a short two years with us, we learned that our beloved Apollo had heartworms and died in less than 24 hours of our perceived understanding.
At the time, I was merely 14 years old and deeply distraught and heartbroken over the loss of our priceless family dog. It was at that time that I had consciously made an oath to never have an outdoor dog and to always seek preventative medicine so that something like this would never happen with my own, future animals.
In retrospect, I never imagined I would ever surrogate eight (
dogs in my home - but Max, Zeus, Cujo, Hailey, Sharley, Tiny, Thor & Ozzie have become a cherished part of my family pack. Having all been neutered & spayed, annual checkups, immunizations, plenty of fresh water & food, heartworm preventative, and proper grooming - my dogs would never dream of 'escaping' their lap of luxury. Aside from having all the love in the world, my dogs lazily lounge on the sofas, get to run and play on nearly an acre of fenced yard, and even watch Television - which is usually set on the Animal Planet
One can never get me to stop talking about my dogs. They are comical, sincere, understanding, loving and in addition to being the most grateful living things, give so much love and health benefits in return.
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