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Man’s best friend

Lisa King

Man’s best friend

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Winfield Yearwood has a love for dogs, a love that goes back many years. So much so that he has been keeping dogs for the past 15 years. Today at his West Terrace, St James home, Yearwood has one Japanese Akita, Bruno, who turned three on July 10, along with two chihuahuas, two-year-old Brownie and two-and-a-half-year-old Zach.
Yearwood, who has a special love for the Akita breed, spoke about his experience caring for his three beloved canines.
He said he takes the dogs for an early morning walk five days a week, but also invests a significant amount of time and money in their grooming and feeding.
He said: “They are like people. They need their check-ups too, which means timely veterinary visits to get their shots and . . . time to groom them and make sure they are free from ticks and fleas.”
He added that he takes them for a walk about five in the morning, but the trio are tame and accustomed to the traffic. “The problems only come if they see another dog . . . . [Then] they may bark but not attack anyone or other dogs,” Yearwood said.
Yearwood readily admits that being a dog owner involves a lot of effort. “It is a bit of hard work. Cleaning up the mess is all a part of it, but they were trained from the time they were pups so they mess in one area rather than all over the yard,” he said.
To add to that, feeding them can put a dent in the pocket. He has to buy dog chow for the dogs who he said are a bit spoiled and hardly ever eat food from the pot.
Ultimately, Yearwood keeps the dogs because he loves the animals but having them around, especially Bruno, gives him a sense of security. The area was not noted for crime, he said, but if anything was amiss Brownie and Zach would bark, and that would cause Bruno to do the same.
Yearwood said he had never had an issue with any of his neighbours because of his pets as he ensured the surroundings were clean and they are not the type of dogs that would bark unnecessarily.
He said the only challenge he had with the dogs was that when Bruno was younger he would pull the clothes from the line, but that is a thing of the past.
Yearwood said that he would like to add more members to his pack but was apprehensive since it might lead to fighting. “At this stage and at their age they will not get to know each other and may fight because they were not raised together,” he said.
Even though the dogs do not enter the house, they are free to roam the property and are very interactive with Yearwood’s wife and daughter. If he has to travel, his son looks after their feeding and care. The animals are indeed a part of the family.