Our Dog Makes Us a Better Family

Pointer and the Hound Photography

February 20, 2020, is national “love your pet day!”

A “pet” is defined as a “domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or pleasure” but for our family, our Black Lab Dakota exceeds the job of companionship and goes beyond the task of providing pleasure. She brings us joy, comfort, and protection.

Her role extends so far that to label her “pet” just doesn’t do it justice. Maybe I’ve lost you, or you think I am crazy, but I know those other moms out there who proudly take on the title of “dog mom” understand. She is more than a pet, she is a much needed, functioning member of our family.

Part of Our Family

Today, on national “love your pet day” I want to tell you how our pet impacts our family and even makes us better.

You have probably caught on by now that I am “one of those people” who loves their dog with a borderline questionable intensity. I’m talking homemade treat baking, matching scarf buying crazy dog lady. Just ask my husband about the time I called the doggie daycare after checking on my dog through the webcam concerned about what she was doing.

Since the birth of our human daughter, the amount of attention we are able to give our dog has lessened but our love hasn’t. And you better believe she takes her role as “big sister” very seriously. We refer to her as “sissy” and my daughter could utter that word much sooner than “mama.” Some may feel that the extra work, money, and time that goes into having a pet isn’t worth it, but I firmly believe pets have so much to offer us.

Unconditional Love

Every day through our dog, we have a prime example of unconditional love. Of course, we try to model that within our family, but the human in us falls short sometimes. We hold grudges and give attitude. Our dog never does. Even when we mess up, lose our temper, or accidentally step on a tail. She loves us wholly and completely. Never exhibiting malice.

family dog
Pointer and the Hound Photography

She is a symbol of selflessness. Never expecting anything in return except maybe an occasional game of fetch. She walks through life bedside us, enhancing our family but never taking away from us for her own benefit.

She is a constant reminder to appreciate the simple things in life. In a world where we are constantly reaching for more, she never asks for more. She values quality time, closeness, and a good belly rub. Prompting us to remember its life’s simple pleasures that really matter.

I can’t imagine our life without Dakota. She provides us with so much more than companionship and pleasure. Making us better people and enhancing our family, I can proudly say on this day that I LOVE my pet!

Does your family have a pet?

family dog

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Casey is an Iowa captive by way of Alabama. She lives in Urbandale with her first responder husband Derek, black lab Dakota, and human daughters Avery (2018) and Nellie (2021). She loves being a mom and is navigating her journey with her own version of what motherhood looks like including shamelessly singing “Baby Shark” on command and eating Oreos during nap time so she doesn’t have to share. Casey works part time in the non-profit field supporting families that are grieving the loss of a child. In her “free time” Casey enjoys baking, specializing in boxed brownies and pre-made cookie dough. She also enjoys reading historical fiction books and watching Netflix. Her preferred forms of communication include sarcasm, emojis and gifs.


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