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A boy and his dog

“ Every boy needs a dog,” is an age-old saying that I believe in. After all, it is much more fun on an adventure with a four-legged friend beside you.

Last spring, our yellow lab blessed us with 10 puppies. What fun our kids had watching them develop from helpless balls of fur to big, rambunctious, playful pups. Ten puppies were certainly destructive in our yard. After planting my flowers for the third time, I decided that it was a waste of time. In one flower pot, we replaced the damaged blooms with a wooden flower – which the pups promptly chewed as well. Anything that moved, whether cat or child, was pursued by 10 little ankle-biters. They were full of fun and adventure for our family, but one by one the pups went to new homes with new families to love them. While it was sad to see them go, it was nice to reclaim what was left of our yard.

However, one pup remained. While we could have sold her several times, we decided to let our son keep her. After all, every boy needs a dog of his own – right? My son named her “Reece” and she soon became a member of our family. His goal was to train her as a hunting dog, and spent hours teaching her how to fetch as well as other basics. (Sometimes I question how many of those lessons she retained.)

Reece waits for my son to come out and play in the morning and faithfully follows him on his adventures. Whether he is out in the fields or working in the yard, she is never far behind, and having to care for a dog of his own teaches my son responsibility.

Reece may never become a well-trained hunting dog, but she is a faithful companion, and a best friend to my son. He is proud of her just the way she is. Over the years they will make many wonderful memories together and form a special bond between them. When I look out in the yard and see my son with his dog, I can’t help but agree – every boy needs a dog.

– Tanya Unrau writes from Boissevain, Manitoba

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