Do you want unconditional love? Then allow a dog to share your life. I was not raised as a Witness so there was always a dog or cat in our family. I have always had dogs and cats in my life. My earliest memories included an “old brown dog” named Trixie which quickly became part of our family. The summer when I was 14 I babysat for my cousin, then spent my whole earnings on a tiny toy poodle. She was my constant companion, surviving into the first years of my marriage. My husband who was raised in the cult had a hard time adjusting to having a little dog underfoot as he was not allowed to have any household pets growing up. I was surprised to learn how the Witnesses viewed pets in general and dogs in particular.
For example from the Insight book:
[Heb., ke´lev; Gr., ky´on;ky·na´ri·on, ‘little dog’ (Mt 15:26)].
To the Israelites this animal was ceremonially unclean, and it is therefore unlikely that they gave any thought to the training of dogs. (Le 11:27; Isa 66:3) Although sheep and shepherds are often mentioned in the Bible, only Job, a non-Israelite, speaks of “the dogs of my flock.”—Job 30:1.
Dogs (Canisfamiliaris), like carrion birds, were scavengers, particularly in the cities. The Law directed throwing to the dogs flesh that had been torn by a wild beast. (Ex 22:31) At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24) In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word, the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, and the flesh of his wife Jezebel became food for the dogs. (1Ki 21:19; 22:38; 21:23; 2Ki 9:10, 35, 36) Indicating that dogs would lick up the blood of the foes of Jehovah’s people, the psalmist wrote: “That the tongue of your dogs may have its portion from the enemies.” (Ps 68:23) It was foretold that dogs would share in the ruin that would come upon unfaithful Jerusalem and Judah. Dead bodies the dogs would drag away, mutilating, devouring, and licking up blood.—Jer 15:3.
We have come a long way though in understanding how intelligent dogs are. John Pilley, a psychology professor in Spartanburg, South Carolina, taught his border collie 1,000 words. (Reader’s Digest August 2011, p. 124) But it doesn’t stop there. Dogs have been trained in many ways to assist humans and more ways are being discovered every day. A short list includes service dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, hunting dogs, guard dogs, war dogs, police dogs, performing dogs, herding dogs. But the main reason most of us own dogs is simply to share our lives, give us something to care for that will appreciatively return our affection. My husband and I currently have two dogs, a lab and a poodle. They are not trained to perform any of the above duties. They eagerly wait for us when we return home, alert us when someone comes to the door, and warms our bed and our hearts. They are our companions, giving us unconditional love.
Recent research has shown that interacting with a pet can have the beneficial effects of lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of a heart attack, decreasing stress, and generally improving the overall quality and length of life.
So if you want a healthier, longer life, along with unconditional love, my recommendation is get out of the cult and get a dog.
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."