Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Around 4:30 yesterday morning, I remembered WHY we have dogs!

Some days, pets are just such a nuisance that you ponder their true value. And your more logical brain raises questions like, "Does this animal add to my life or take away?" "Wouldn't life just be easier without them?"

Immediately I can think of a dozen or more inconveniences Bella and Gracie bring to my busy world. You know the list:
  • Hurry home because the dogs haven't been let out all day.
  • Can't stay on vacation an extra day - no one to care for the dogs.
  • Big bags of dog food that need a crane when purchased at Sam's.
  • Can't take a walk without the dogs because you feel guilty.
  • Must take a bag on walks with the dogs or the neighbors won't like you!
  • "Which one of you chewed my socks again?!!"
  • A yard which must be de-fertilized before guests come for outdoor fun.
  • Blond Labrador hair EVERYWHERE!
I could go on but why bore you with the aggravations of being a pet owner. You probably have your own list if you have pets.

But I promised you a revelation. I awoke well before dawn yesterday and finally went to the living room so as not to disturb Frank. Out of habit, I reached over and opened Gracie's kennel door on my way to the couch.

She stretched the full length of her little Shih-tzu self, yawned loudly, then sauntered casually over to where I was settling in.

Bella (the horse-dog) had already circled me a couple times and plopped down in front of the love seat. But after lightly jumping to my lap, Gracie looked up studying my face.

Her little muffin head turned first to the left, then to the right as her big black eyes searched mine. Her under bite (which we call her Elvis-lip) made the quizzical look even more comical.

I gave her an absent-minded smile and a quick scratch behind the ears, but she remained very focused. My book didn't distract her, nor did my shuffling around to find the most comfortable spot. She just kept sitting there, watching my face.

Suddenly it dawned on me. She sensed that I was uneasy and was offering comfort in the best way she knew how.

After reading a while, I finally dozed back off. When Frank woke later, he said that Bella immediately asked to go out. But Gracie chose to stayed curled inside the bend of my knees as I slept there on the sofa. A faithful sentinel.

For all the aggravation and inconvenience and chewed socks and bags of "stuff" I've carried and dinners shortened and dog hair vacuumed etc, etc, etc. Pets still give a very big return for the effort.

Yep, Gracie definitely gives more than she takes! Guess I'll keep her. Smile.

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