• Ain’t nothing but a hound dog?  What?

When I come home at the end of the day, I get out of my car and walk to the front door.  I confess my disappointment that Pearl and Leo bark at me as I approach the house.  I think they need glasses.

Pearl, adopted from a rescue kennel just across the state line in Oklahoma, hangs her head as she realizes that I am not a threat but actually that same guy that comes home every single day.  The guy who fixes her breakfast.  Suddenly her mood changes.  She is delighted to see me.  Have you ever seen a dog smile?  It gets better.  She is so excited she spins in a circle.  Seven times.  Not six.  Not eight.  Seven.

Fayetteville is a great town for dogs, especially this time of year.  The Greenway, dog parks and other trails are a perfect way to get outside with man’s/woman’s best friend.  And despite some folks ignoring our city’s leash ordinance, a dog-friendly town is a great place to be.

One of my close relatives has three registered French Bulldogs.  They are terrific.  They even have their own costumes.    But there is a problem.  They can barely breathe.  Apparently the appeal of the shape of their faces has caused respiratory problems.  Not to mention that having puppies requires an expensive and risky medical procedure.

Genetic issues related to dog-breeding are not uncommon.  Health problems, low intelligence and even aggression can be exacerbated by generations of breeding.  Are all purebred dogs plagued by congenital problems?  Of course not.  But certain breeds lend themselves to heart-breaking issues.

Meanwhile, breeding dogs for sale and profit (puppy mills), introduces another concern.  Typically, the Fayetteville Animal Shelter has around twenty dogs available for adoption.  And there are times when all forty kennels are occupied by happy tail-waggers looking for a friend.  Why encourage dog-breeding when there are plenty of terrific good boys and good girls who are eagerly waiting for belly scratches and a loving home?

From the beginning humans were created to take care of the natural world – plants, fish, birds…and dogs.  And on that glorious day when heaven and earth are combined and everything is restored, serving God’s creation in this beautiful new place will continue.  I absolutely believe dogs are part of this paradise.  Would it be heaven without them?

Leo and Pearl are not registered.  And they are definitely not purebred.  They are loyal rescue hounds who are walking mixtures of countless sizes and shapes of dogs.  The only thing pure about them is their love.  And that’s enough for me.

(Note:  If you are interested in rescuing your own best friend, you can visit the Fayetteville Animal Shelter at 1640 S. Armstrong Road, M-F 10-5:30 and Saturdays 10-4, 479-444-3456.)