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Chapter 16


Last February, I wrote about “Puppy Love”. It describes both the early infatuation with the boy or girl down the street or the love you have for furry paws, a wet nose and a wriggling body. As the months and years pass, however, that puppy love grows and changes into something different.

Puppies grow up quickly. In the case of Gabe, my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, he transformed into the lean muscular, handsome boy that he is seemingly overnight. In reality, at six months old, Gabe looked pretty much like he does today.  The “Puppy Love” did not last for long.

The average life span of a Chessie is 10-13 years. My Chessie-Mix Molly lived to be 18. Puppyhood only lasts for a few months of that time. So if you own a Chessie, or any other dog for that matter, Puppy Love is not enough. Owning a dog takes a  commitment that lasts long after that first infatuation with puppy cuteness wears off.
I have to admit that while I love Gabe, there are some days, I don’t like him. Like the day he stole my Hardee’s breakfast biscuit out of the bag and ate it in two bites, wrapping and all. Or when he came in the house and decided to chew on my mint-in-box First Edition Winne The Pooh plush from the Christopher Robin movie. Poor Pooh is not in mint condition anymore.  Oh Bother! It was hard to love Gabe that day.

Love for a pet or another person also requires sacrifice and hard work. While it took me nearly two years to save enough money to purchase Gabe and that was hard work, bringing him home was not the end. It was only the beginning of the hard work. There were numerous vet visits, monthly heartworm and other pills and of course dog food specifically formulated for a Chessie and their sensitive stomachs. I have to cover a lot of ball games every month to cover Gabe’s expenses and that’s not including what it cost to take care of my two cats Peaches and Poirot or my duck Corona. Who knew a nine-pound duck could eat a 50-pound bag of food so quickly?

As a result of my pets, I had to take a second job covering Liverpool soccer online. Often, I have to get up at 5 AM on Saturdays to cover a match because of the time difference between the UK and North Carolina. On those days, I like to treat myself to a hot, fresh Hardee’s biscuit before I start to work. That is, if Gabe does not eat it first. Why do I get up before dawn on Saturdays, a day when most people sleep in? Because I love Gabe and all my pets. If it was just a puppy love infatuation that wore away over time, I would not do it.


Some people say that you should only show affection or love to your pets for good behavior. I understand the sentiment, but real love isn’t based on performance. I think we should love people and pets in spite of their mistakes. We all make them after all. That’s why when I have to scold Gabe for stealing the toilet paper out of the bathroom or chasing Peaches, I also let him know I still love him by giving him a hug and he repays me by licking my ear. I will also give him an Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treat later in the day to show that there are no hard feelings. I do not do it immediately because I don’t want Gabe to think I am rewarding bad behavior.

If you want a perfect way to show your love to your dog this Valentine’s season, consider Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. They even come in the Hugs and Kisses pack that includes a bone and a heart-shaped treats. These limited edition treats are available in both the popular cheese and bacon and pumpkin peanut butter flavors. Since owning and loving a dog is a long-term commitment, monthly subscriptions are also available to help see you and your furry friend through the ups and downs of your journey together.

Admittedly, sometimes love is hard, but thankfully showing that affection to your dog with Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats isn’t. I just wish every part of loving Gabe was that easy.  

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