After we lost our first daughter to stillbirth nearly 10 years ago, my husband thought it would be nice for me to have something to take care of and nurture. I was heartbroken and had retreated into a shell of my former self, and he knew I needed something to help me out. So he got me a beautiful little Yorkie puppy that I named “Jacques” for Valentine’s Day. So which choice is better for you, little dogs vs big dogs?
At the time, we were very active in several fraternal organizations. Jacques went with me most everywhere I went. He went out of town on trips with the organizations. He went to dances and parties. And no one minded, as each person knew why Jacques was there.
When I became pregnant with our second daughter, Jacques was an instrumental part of keeping me calm. I spent quite a bit of time in the hospital before and after having our second daughter, who also never made it home due to complications from prematurity. Once again, Jacques gave me comfort just by being there.
Jacques was a wonderful dog. He took care of me as much as I took care of him. That little 5 pound bundle of fur thought he was lord of the manor. He thought he was a big dog.
A couple of years later, I had taken off work early for an important meeting I had that night with one of the organizations. I had let Jacques out to take care of his business. A bigger dog that lived across the street broke out of his yard and attacked Jacques, breaking Jacques’ back. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to let Jacques go.
In 2004, I became pregnant again. After our son was born and at home, my husband started working out of town quite a bit. I gave him the option of getting me a dog or a gun. He, of course, opted for a dog. I opted for a Bullmastiff/Great Pyrenees puppy. A “big dog” that not many dogs would be much bigger than. I named her “Lady”, and she would sleep outside our son’s door at night, and let him crawl all over her once he was big enough.
While Lady is not as easily portable as Jacques was (she outweighs me by quite a bit), she is just as much a part of us. She has protected our children from other dogs and other dangers that could harm them. She intimidates strangers, although she is much gentler than Jacques ever was. She loves to run and play with us. She loves to have our kids around her and watches over them almost as closely as I watch over them. I trust her completely with them.
So, if you should ever ask, “Do you prefer a small dog or a big dog?”, I will gladly tell you in a heartbeat that I would take a big dog any day.
by Kristin Russell