For those of you who have never owned a dog or are thinking of getting your first dog, here are a few things you should know.

Dogs are a gift, no matter if they are working dogs, family dogs, or a lap dog. But they change, as all things do.

So many people love puppies, they are so cute and energetic. But those of us who have owned puppies and trained them because we want a dog know the truth behind their cute faces. Puppies are the worst. They are babies that, at times, almost seem to need more attention than a human baby. Parents, want to teach your kids responsibility? Get them a puppy. You will end up taking care of it.

A dog in his prime has always been what I look forward to. Someone to run with you, to listen to you, to always be there.

But, something else we forget; or don’t want to think about. Dogs, if they live long enough, get old. It gets harder for them to move. They can’t hear or see as well. You can no longer pet them while they have their treat because-well- they are getting older and didn’t know you where there and maybe getting more protective of their food. Maybe their personality is changing.

If you have never had a dog and can’t stand the idea of Marley and Me, maybe you should reconsider getting a puppy. They will get old – if they don’t run away or have an accident. And it’s your job to be there for them when that time comes. To decide what you are going to do.

I’ll pet my dog while I can, even if he won’t let me while he eats anymore. And watch him a little more closely around little kids when they want to give him a treat.

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