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I received the following from a friend recently, and I wanted to share it with as many Irish Setter lovers as possible. I thought this site would be a good place to start:

"Just a Dog"

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog." They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog." Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog." Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise." "Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. "Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. "Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man." So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog." just smile, because they "just don't understand."

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So nice! Thanks for sharing this!
So true!! A few years ago I had to have an operation for breast cancer and my kids and my red heads kept me going. I even delayed surgery so I could bring Rua to Crufts(2004) and my Doctor was quite happy to let me do so!!! I had setter books by my bed and two stuffed toy dogs one a setter and the other a look a like of my collieXterrier Clio!! My cancer nurse said that the focus of the dogs was so positive!! I would be lost without them!! As a child I always had a dog with me even if it belonged to my neighbour!!!
I've often thought that every child should be given a dog at birth! If only they lived for decades! I got my first dog at the age of 26 and learned almost immediately what had been missing from my childhood. I'm not sure I could survive without one now.

Wendy
I know several "just a dog" people. They think I am crazy. I think they have no idea what fun and joy they are missing out on. To each his own!
Interesting to note that quite a few dog-lovers (who are definatly not "just a dog"-people) will actually say: Just a cat!
You are so very right. None of my furry red animal companions are just a dog. Danny and Harvey are beloved family members that add so much joy to our lives.
Barb Janicek
This is really great text!
As a person who had really lot of different pets, I'd say no animal is "just an animal"! Most of the greatest moments in my life are somehow connected to my animals, and unfortunately, some very sad moments, too. I was fortunate enough to grow up with dogs and all kinds of different animal species, and it was a wonderful experience to have them by my side through my childhood. And afterwards, off course! I can't imagine my life without these fantastic friends! But I must say, Irish Setters are my no. 1 choice - they always bring the joy in my life :)

Most people (mostly those who don't own animals) probably think I must be crazy for loving my animals as much as I do, they don't understand how can a person give up many things and time for a pet, as they say - it's "just a dog"!
Lovely & so true. I find the hardest moment of all is when you are mourning the loss of a four-legged friend and some human 'friend' makes the 'just a ...' declaration.

A lovely find Malkie, thanks for bring it back to the present.  It is lovely and still true. My boys are part of who I am.

I agree a lovely find and so true, none of my friends have pets let alone one of our lovely dogs and over the years i would of been lost if not for my boys just one look from them big brown eyes can help with anything (",)

That's lovely Ellen :)) Where I live animals are all required to be useful!! In a farming way, the neighbors struggle with us walking Irish, newfies, and a border collie. It's really quite sad they actually find us odd ! And the look on there faces of absolute shock when they see them inside the house lol. :) I also can't agree more with children been raised with a dog or pet. I would run outside and around the corner of our house to cry on my Cindys shoulder when I got in trouble as a child. Saying good bye to her when I was 13 is something I still remember so very well. I learnt a lot about life growing up with Cindy, a few years later my parents died and although I adored them truly I did, to this day I have found saying good bye to a much loved four legged fur friend harder than my parents. Maybe it's because we have to make that gut wrenching dicision to let them go.
Even as an adult today I turn to our dogs they are always there for you in a time of need, like Carmel wrote :) There love is unconditional : )))

Mine is "just a rambunctious mischievous toddler". Who doesn't love toddlers!?

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