Must Love…

By: | November 30, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

           Dog Lovers!

Minnie and Me 2

In 2005 Diane Lane and John Cusack starred in “Must Love Dogs,” a movie about a divorced preschool teacher looking for love.  Her criteria for the perfect man is simple.  He must love dogs.  John Cusack’s Jake shows up on the date without a dog.  When Sarah (Lane) complains, John Cusack states the theme that this blog post is about.  “You said you must love dogs.  You didn’t say you must own them, and I do love dogs.”

How To Be A Killjoy

Today’s post was originally titled, The Fine Art of Being a Killjoy.  A year and a half ago my dog Minnie was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 17.  Her vet assured us she could survive the surgery.  When she did, I vowed to turn over a new leaf.  I would no long take my dog for granted.

You must understand Minnie is not just my dog.  My best friend, my soul mate (in another life perhaps?), my shadow, my baby.  I got her for my daughter when she was five, but I feel that Minnie adopted me in the year 2000 since she has been my shadow ever since.  Despite her breeding, a Lhasa mix that I hear is protective, Minnie runs to me for comfort and begs to be held when a knock at the door scares her, just like a baby would.  When Minnie survived cancer surgery I vowed I’d be a better “mother”.  I’d spend more time with her, take more pictures, and appreciate every day I still (thankfully) had with her.

The problem is that people I am referring to as “killjoys” mar my enjoyment of our time together.  Read the following conversation snippets.

Killjoys A-E: How old is your dog?

Me: Minnie is 19.

Killjoy A: She’s looking good for an old girl.

Killjoy B: Do dogs live that long?

Killjoy C: She’s still alive?

Killjoy D: Dogs don’t live that long.

Killjoy E: She’s going to die soon.

I hope readers can see why this post is critically titled, Must Love Dog Lovers.  John CusackMust Love Dogs explained that a person doesn’t have to own a dog to love them.  Do people have to own dogs to be sensitive to dog owners?  My husband would advise me to consider the source.  Many of the  comments I’ve quoted come from dog owners!  To make matters worse, they are aware that I lost a dog last month. (See “I Once Had a Dog Named Nasty”  and “How to Get Over the Death of the Family Dog“.)

Due to Minnie surviving cancer surgery, I feel we have been given a second chance.  Readers, please advise me.  How am I suppose to enjoy the last years of Minnie’s life when I am constantly reminded how old and close to death she is? I look forward to your views.

  1. batteredhope

    YOU ARE RIGHT. I wrote a post about Texas last year. He was 16 when he was brutally attacked and bit in half by a Bull Mastif. He is a miniature Dachshund. The decision had to be made and he survived two major surgeries, which the vets could not believe. The killjoys said, “why bother – he’s old” That was two years ago and he is still jumping and playing like a puppy – just sleeps more! I hope you can read the story because as a dog lover……you will love it.

    Thanks for sharing this — I read your previous post as well when you talked about your best friend. My best friend is Texas’ sister — she is a black lab who is 15. We are inseparable — why can’t they live to be 70!!!!

  2. Garry Rackley

    As a male and an avid dog lover, I used to think maybe it wasn’t manly to show affection for a pet. Then I decided that others do not dictate how I feel or think. I politely listen to anyone’s opinion, remember what I think is useful for me, and throw away the rest! Who cares what others say or think!. Enjoy your time with your dog and remember we can only control ourselves and not the words or actions of others. Maybe even cut them a little slack because sometimes they really mean no harm.

  3. Jess DiGiannurio

    I can not fathom someone saying any of those things to me! Shes a gorgeous girl, for any age 🙂 xo, Jess @

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jess,
      Thank you so much!! That’s actually a current photo of Minnie and me. I tried to write a caption, but I couldn’t align left when I did, so I just went with the photo as is. I agree for nineteen, she is looking pretty good! Thanks for writing.

  4. Jenn Alex Brockman

    I love dogs. All shapes and sizes. My advice is that when someone says something lame about her age, or death being near, to acknowledge that she is special – if you need to say something snarky to them, I’d completely understand. But, in your head and heart just know how lucky you both are to have each other and that if she died tomorrow, you loved her the best you can.

    I had to put my bassett hound down last year and it wiped me out. We brought that dog from being afraid of people and peeing on sight, to having fun, chasing balls and loving people.

    • Janice Wald

      Wow Jenn,
      That sounds really tough. I dread the inevitable. Initially, I didn’t want a dog for this reason. However, I had one young daughter at the time who begged for a dog, and another young daughter who was terrified of animals. The pediatrician said immersion would help, so we got a dog. It took a week, and we have all loved Minnie ever since, but she is my baby. Since she is my shadow, we all consider Minnie my dog. Thank you for writing me.

  5. Ashley Gulla

    My two dogs are my family too! I completely understand what you mean by saying Minnie is a possible soul mate from another life. That’s how my Lily is. I got her a year and a half ago and it’s been bliss every single. You know what I say about those people who say that to you, DON’T MIND THEM. They may not have ever experienced such a love. IGNORE THEM! Enjoy the time with your sweet baby girl, don’t take any day for granted, be thankful and love her like you’ve never loved her before!!! They are such amazing companions! I never get sick of reading stories about people who love their dogs as much as you clearly love Minnie.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ashley,
      1. What kind words. They actually brought tears to my eyes!
      2. Thanks for the feedback about the reincarnation comment. It occurred to me I’d be criticized by people for that comment. Thanks to you, the opposite happened. I also appreciated the understanding your letter conveyed.

      • Janice Wald

        PS I got word that you are following my blog. I am following you back. I am also a sensitive girl trying to navigate her way through life!
        PS You sound like a very nice person.

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you so much. Despite the sadness that I’m sure came through, I enjoyed connecting it to the the John Cusack movie, “Must Love Dogs.”

  6. Elise Cohen Ho

    It is amazing to hear how rude people have been. This lack of thinking is not acceptable. I too have a pet that is in his later years and I know exactly how you feel.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Elise,
      Thank you for writing me. Some people feel I need to cut others slack since they don’t mean any harm, so I appreciate the validation. I guess great minds think alike! 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Are you even kidding me??????? I haven’t even been blogging a month!!! You are so kind. You have to know what this is doing for me. I am so excited I can’t even think straight. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I am off to read the instructions you sent right now. I’m too exhilarated to focus, but I will try anyway. Oh, and did I mention? Thank you!!!!!!!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi, Thanks again. Question: How do I know how many blog followers a person has? I know only if they have under 200 can I nominate them.

      • knottymarie

        To be honest I just guessed. If they show their Google badge sometimes it says how many are following. . But is only how many following via google. So it really is just a guess.

  7. Judy Wasserman


    • Janice Wald

      Thank you so much for the praise. The adulation means the world to me. Did you like how I connected my theme to a movie? That’s what I do, connect my themes to other genres.

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