Posted On April 28, 2017 By In Regulars With 538 Views

First Word with Sue Hodgson

I’m so lucky to have Kuper in my life.

Who is Kuper? He’s roughly 75 years old, with rapidly growing grey hair on his eyebrows, face and chest. He’s covered in thick black hair, with handsome golden brown eyes that would win you over in a staring contest. Instead of walking like a normal four-legged being, he trots around like a very proud black stallion.

With his older age Kuper has become less of a participant in my long walks and instead yearns for more love and compassion. We rescued him from Kuper Island and he’s been with us ever since the birth of my two children.

Yes, that’s my dog Kuper. No matter how bad my day has been, how stressful the job or how tired I am, he lifts my spirits, relaxes me and makes me feel loved; what an amazing feeling. How can an animal have such an effect on us? How can an animal make us forget all of our cares and woes, lift up our spirits so completely and make us feel so warm and fuzzy?

There is much research done on animals, but as a long-time pet lover I’ve always had tons of questions about what my dog is thinking, dreaming and barking. Don’t you?

We know they love us – there is no doubt about that as you can see it in their eyes and their smile. But, if you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself wondering: “How much does my dog love me? What does he get out of our lovin’ relationship? And what is he thinking?

According to recent research, when we say “Good Dog!” apparently dogs hear not just the words we say but also how we say them. For people, both the word and pitch are important, but no one knew – until now – whether that was also the case for dogs.

Amazingly, all dogs ask for in return for their love and companionship is food, water, exercise, a safe environment, a place to sleep and a good person to care for them. It’s so little considering how much they give us.

I’m reminded often by paying attention to Kuper (or our pets – not just dogs) and his behaviour that he can teach our family to live in the present, so that perhaps we might better enjoy, notice and appreciate the fleeting moments and simple pleasures we as adults often miss. Thanks Kuper; we love you!



Your West Coast Culture. A magazine about the people and places that make the Saanich Peninsula the little piece of paradise we call home.

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