Recently my husband Kelly and I passed up a chance to go someplace special on the spur of the moment because we would have been away all day till maybe 11 at night. We didn’t want the dogs to have to wait outside that late for their dinners and usual places in the house, and there wasn’t time to get a pet sitter or neighbor to come by.
I felt a momentary pang of regret that I couldn’t run off and have fun like “normal” people, but really to feel balanced I need a lot of time home alone with my dogs and quiet husband. (That’s LarryDog, poster child for this website, about to get a treat for sitting.)
And I got to thinking about how having dogs has shaped the choices that I’ve made, or that Kelly and I have made, over our years together. Where we’ve lived, how we’ve traveled, even our choice to run a home-based business… all have been decisions where our dogs were part of the picture.
When we were considering adding a Rottweiler to the family last year, I said something to Kelly about how that could limit our housing choices in the future. He pointed out that we’ve always owned our homes and that we have always had pretty big yards too. With Lola’s soft brown eyes on us as we decided her future, we took her home right then and haven’t regretted it for a moment. Not even when she dug up all our carrots and ate them.
I guess that’s where I’m going with this train of thought… the dogs have given us so much that the trade-offs have been well worth it. No regrets. Living 24/7 with such loving beings, such alive friends, is addictive. I had never had dogs (though I’d wanted them) till Kelly and I had been together a while. Since then, usually in batches of two, with rare periods of one or three dogs, we’ve had Martha, Cider, Teddy Bear, Dorrie Belle, Sunbeam, LarryDog, and now Lola and Nicky.
Just typing in their names makes me remember:
The Thanksgiving that we were very late for dinner at the home of new friends because we’d gone for a walk with Cider and Teddy Bear, and Teddy had happily rolled in some dead fish by a lake… it took a lot of shampooing to get him bearable.
What a little angel Sunbeam seems to be in this picture. Ha. Basenjis are the wildest dogs I’ve ever been around. To this day, several years after her death, I can’t throw something in the trash on the floor without thinking she’ll be destroying it in a moment; while she was alive, all trash cans were up high. But what zest she had! What an appetite for life! That teddy bear next to her was quickly in shreds.
Have I ever known anyone, of any species, with that much enthusiasm? I don’t think so.
Here’s to our dogs and to the choices we make because of them.