Last Sunday (8/28) we had our annual Dog Days of Summer event – and it was a hit! We asked some of you to tell us about how important your dogs are to you, and although the responses were what we expected, they were sweet reminders of the critical roles dogs play in our lives. Here at HOPE Farmers Market we like to find ways to bring the community together, by putting things we have in common in the spotlight and celebrating what we love – this time it was our pups!
We asked those who brought their dogs along to share the following: 1) A specific time in their life when their dogs helped them, 2) How their dogs provided support, and 3) What about their dogs they were most grateful for. Some responses got pretty personal, so we’ve summarized them and kept them anonymous.
1) For many, their canine friend is their protector, and “he/she is always there for me.” When we are lonely, sad, or going through though times, they are there. One person even said, “she knew something was wrong and helped me,” referring to a time in her life when she was battling depression. For another, his dog played an important role in helping him through divorce and said his dog, “makes me feel useful and gives me good energy.” Dogs also serve as motivation and inspiration. Some expressed that their pet gets them out of the house, keeps them healthy, and helps them be more active. “He makes me laugh and I want to be like my dog,” said another. At times when we can’t help ourselves, dogs are there as inspiration and motivation. For most of us, its a daily thing – “she is a constant stream of help everyday.”
2) Dogs support us in many ways, most of them simple. “He loves me,” one dog owner said. “She hangs out next to me,” said another. Our dogs don’t judge us and they love us unconditionally. Many appreciate the comfort and companionship pets provide, and for others it’s actual physical support that matters a lot too. “I had to take care of her, so she gave me a sense of purpose.” Having a sense of purpose because of their dogs was something several dog owners expressed. “She gives me attention and makes me feel happy,” said another. A woman told us her dog knew she was pregnant! Whether it’s having someone to cuddle with or just someone to hang out with, our dogs support us like no other.
3) The HOPE community was most grateful for what we value most in each other as people too. “She is my friend no matter what,” and “Simply her existence,” were some responses. One man said he was most grateful for the protection his dog provided during an attempted robbery. Another said her dog is funny and she appreciates that the most. And we can really relate to this one – “I am most grateful for her cuddles!”
There is no question why we say dogs are our best friends. Celebrating them together brings us together! Thank you to everyone who participated. When we share what we love, that love only grows.
What other parts of your life would you like to celebrate with the community? Leave a comment or let us know on our social media. The coming weeks will be filled with more events to help us grow together!