We share our home with five big indoor/outdoor dogs. They’re like our kids. Even though they don’t require day care or college funds, we still spend a small fortune on food, treats, vet check-ups and vaccinations, medications, supplements, toys, etc.
They remind me of kids – actually like boys – when they come bursting through the doorway, sliding across the tile floor all sloppy, dirty, happy and exhausted from hunting frogs down by the pond. We keep a hamper of dog towels by the front door for rainy days and “pondage” but they still manage to leave dirty doggie outlines on the tile like you’d trace in white chalk at a crime scene.
They have their own couch, their own fold-out lounge and numerous dog beds throughout the living and bed rooms. We keep on hand a continual supply of hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, and Neosporin for wounds, aspirin for pain, Benadryl for snake bites or bee stings, and Velveeta cheese for pill-giving. Their hair clogs our air conditioning filters. Their panting makes it hard to hear yourself think sometimes. One follows our every move throughout the house while the others just follow with their eyes. They insist on being let outside just as the movie gets good or when you’re trying to talk on the phone. They harass the horses, chase the barn cat and generally terrorize any varmint that steps foot on the property.
But when the day is done and it’s time for bed, there’s nothing like the comfort you feel as they lay out on the cool tile or settle into their doggie beds or pick their favorite spot on the carpet and let out a deep sigh. You’re protected and surrounded by love and contentment. All is right with the world. Until, that is, the coyotes begin to howl outside in one of the nearby fields. Then four out of five dogs jump up, scramble to the doors and begin to howl in harmony from inside the house.