Dogs: My Heaven
Animals have been and still are my saving grace. Life throws curves on a regular basis, and even though we know this to be true, the hardness of life sometimes pulls one into the abyss of darkness. Animals have this gift of joy they give freely. This joy is what sustains me through those difficult and challenging curves.
Growing up, I was surrounded by many animals, mostly those relative to living on a farm. Besides cows, the farm enjoyed chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, sheep, cats, dogs, canaries and horses. Each of these served a purpose which was part of the food table or for work tasks. Of course, when children are part of a farming family, the line becomes blurred between those needed for food and those who must be pets. I learned early the line for pets.
My love and deep appreciation for animals has followed me throughout life. Home is never without pets, and I mean more than one. It is filled with the joy of my deeply loved furry friends. In this article, I am speaking about our beloved dogs. Xane and Bodacious are constant companions. They tag along 98% of the time; whether running errands, taking a trip or in a role as customer service at our small business. They are well-behaved at the business, sharing their happy and easy-going demeanors with customers. The boys bring a relaxed and genuine smile to the faces of customers not expecting to find them at the business. Those rare times when they are not at work, customers ask after them, hoping all is o.k. and nothing has happened untoward.
Not only do I have the daily joy of my two buddies, I occasionally have the opportunity to sit with my two grand-dogs; Charlie and Marley. Once such happening occurred recently. I was at home with all four dogs, and thankfully, they all get along quite well considering they do not see each other very often. The fun begins when taking them all outside for exercise and to take care of their business. The yard is big enough for lots of running and typical puppy romping. Only Marley needs to stay on a leash, the other three can roam free; though the leash does not stop this girl from joining in on the puppy action. I have learned to stay close so I do not end face down on the ground when she runs with her brood of friends.
These are opportunities to watch and learn each personality. Much like people, dogs have a singular personality with many facets that make them unique. My husband has nicknamed me Dr. Doolittle, mostly due to my understanding and connection with animals. What he doesn’t know is how much time I spend studying each animal, to learn their personality, likes, dislikes, when they are tired, frustrated or what makes them happy.
During the weekend dog-sitting, I had all four dogs on the deck with me. We were lounging and relaxing, enjoying the afternoon weather. Each dog reacted and acted differently with this opportunity to roam on the deck, albeit, not totally free. The entrance to the stairs was blocked by deck furniture, for their safety and mine. Xane and Bodacious are familiar with life on the deck, so they found a comfortable spot to relax in no time. Charlie and Marley needed to scope out every inch of the deck. Their noses were busy taking in all the new scents our yard had to offer. The only noise in the yard came from various birds chirping in their various languages. A cardinal was singing for a response. Since my boys are familiar with the yard noises, they are relatively content and quiet. The newness brought curiosity to Charlie and Marley. They would emit a singular bark every few minutes, then wait, and bark again. This made me curious why they were compelled to bark for no reason I could see. Then it hit me, it wasn’t for something I needed to see. They were reaching out, checking to see if any other dogs were around to contribute to their doggy conversation. It was a social action and reaction to the quiet and serene sounds of the yard. Bingo, I learned something about their personalities. They bark inside the house like this as well. It isn’t always a sound that is the cause for their action to bark. Their action was seeking a response instead of vice versa. I had this eureka moment, and it was taught by my loving grand-dogs. This is an example of the joy they bring to my life.
Animals are my saving grace. They are my cold beer at the end of a day layered with stress. A life without these furry friends is one that is not happening. My life well-lived includes a home with loving and loved dogs. Loving them has enriched my life and kept my heart open. How do your pets add to your life?