Yesterday, I had the good fun of speaking with a terrific group of kids who were spending their week at Mahogany Ridge KidsCamp. It’s a camp where kids and their dogs get to play and learn together. Theresa Richmond, the camp director and trainer, (whom some of you may remember from Dogs of Dreamtime) invited me to give a talk on what it’s like to write about dogs.

As with training dogs, writing about dogs is best learned by doing. So the kids worked on an article together entitled “10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog.” First, each child wrote down their reasons, and then we added up how many of those sentiments were shared by others.

What follows is the tally of great reasons and the number of thumbs-up votes each one received.

10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog

#1. Dogs are great companions and your best friends forever.   15  thumbs up signal 

#2. Dogs are lovable and nice / cute and cuddly.   10 thumbs up signal

#3. Tied. Dogs love to play. You can play with them, and you both get exercise.  9 thumbs up signal

       Dogs teach you patience and responsibility. They’re someone to love and care for.   9 thumbs up signal

#4. Dogs are lots of fun, and they’re entertaining. 8 thumbs up signal

#5. Dogs love you as much as you love them. 7 thumbs up signal

#6. Tied. Dogs are very trusting and loyal, they help you learn how to trust. 5 thumbs up signal

        Dogs are good protection. Some would give their lives for you. 5 thumbs up signal

#7. Dogs are fun to train for activities like agility & you can teach them lots of tricks.    4 thumbs up signal

#8. Tied. Dogs need a home. You get to give them one, which makes you both happy.     3 thumbs up signal

        There are lots of different breeds and sizes to choose from. 3 thumbs up signal

#9. Tied. Dogs make great alarm clocks; they like to wake you up in the morning. 2 thumbs up signal

       Dogs are great with children and some are nice with babies. 2 thumbs up signal

#10. Dogs make great vacuum cleaners; they pick up food off the floor. 1 thumbs up signal

  • (I have to say, on my list, this is much higher up.)

There were so many #10s that, for the sake of space, I’ve grouped them together.

  • Dogs comfort you.
  • You can name your dog whatever you want, and they kiss you.
  • Dogs are always happy to see you, and they are in your heart forever.
  • Dogs are good workers.
  • Dogs understand your feelings.
  • Dogs are a piece of work.
  • Dogs can help you and be trained to call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Feeding my dog is another paying chore.
  • Dogs will keep you happy when you are lonely, and they will always be waiting for you when you get home.
  • Petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, and you feel rewarded when they’re happy.
  • Dogs never want to let you down, and they are very funny.
  • The way dogs look at you makes you swear they are smiling. And I love how my dog licks my face when I call her and how she prances back with the ball when I throw it.

Contributing writers are listed in alphabetical order: (Parents and children, if you see any corrections that need to be made, please email me and I will update.)

  • Michael Gulli and his Chocolate Lab, Doc
  • Julie Lattanzio and her Sheltie, Rose
  • Griffin Potter and his Wheaton Terrier, Ernie
  • Rebeca Baker and her Australian Shepherd, Toby
  • Marita Breen and her English Springer Spanie, Libby
  • Ben Burke and his Portuguese Water Dog, Arlo
  • Maria Burke and her Catahoula mix, Henry
  • Haylie Gernert-Dott and her Wheaton Terrier, Tally Ho
  • Tori Gernert-Dott and her Welsh Terrier, Baker
  • Peter Judson and his rare breed, Scout
  • Sylvia Kimmel and her Collie, Mia
  • Nicole Manning and her Golden Retriever, Abby
  • Robert Pollaro and his Beagle mix, Lily
  • Ali Reinhold and her Dachshund, Dixie
  • Juliana Rivera and her Shih-tzu, Jewels
  • Danielle Ross and her Black Lab, Lucy
  • Briana Sirianni and her Bichon Frisee, Josie
  • Ian Snell and his Lab mix, Maxine
  • Kiera Taylor and her Chocolate Lab, Lucy
  • Gabriela Thiele and her Corgi, Cassidy
  • Michael Vassolas and his Golden Retriever, Monty
  • Megan Mary White and her Yorkie, PJ