Do you love dogs? I know there are cat lovers out there too, but in my experience there’s really nothing that quite compares with the love of a dog!
As I was growing up, my family had several dogs. My parents got Goldie when I was a baby so she and I grew up together. She was a golden retriever/yellow lab mix and she was the absolutely perfect family dog. Fun, loving, protective. Later, my mom told me Goldie’d had her moments with housetraining and chewing and digging. But the whole time I knew her, Goldie was the perfect dog. When I was sixteen, we got Tessie, a Shetland Sheepdog. I took her to obedience training, and we even competed in competitive trials for a couple years. We had fun together.
When I got married and my own family was complete, two of us — my older son and I — were dog people, and two of us — my husband and younger son — were ambivalent about having a dog. Not that they didn’t want one. They just didn’t think too much about it. Unlike my oldest son and I who dreamed about it constantly. When he was six my son started asking for a dog. To hold him off, I told him he had to be ten in order to own a dog. However, his tenth birthday came and my husband thought we were too busy with the kids and work to give a dog a proper home.
However, when he was twelve, a dear friend of ours was in a bind and needed to adopt out her own dog Grace to a loving home. She felt terrible about it, but couldn’t possibly keep her. Knowing that we had two young boys, and what a great family member Gracie would be, she approached us. I was thrilled. Gracie was the perfect solution — she was two years old, she was already trained out of any bad puppy habits. And coming from our friend, we knew she’d had a kind and loving upbringing.
We went to visit her, immediately fell in love, and the rest is history! On the morning we were bringing her home, my son, the dog lover, woke up, excited beyond belief and said, “This is the day I’ve been waiting for half my life!” Gracie became a treasured member of our family. She was an absolutely perfect pet. Loving, playful, affectionate, low-maintenance. We had her for over thirteen years before we were forced to say a tearful good-bye two summers ago.
In the two “empty” years, my husband and I retired, sold our house and moved across the country. We did a lot of road trips, but recently, it dawned on us that we were ready for another dog. Two Sundays ago, we visited a local rescue shelter and picked out our newest daughter — cute, lovable, adorable Weezer! She’s half pointer, half beagle. We like her size (much smaller than Gracie) and her playfulness. But man oh man, we underestimated the immense impact her presence would have on our peaceful, quiet household. No more staying up late and sleeping till 9. No more lazy mornings drinking coffee, watching talk shows and wandering upstairs to my writing room about 10 AM. No, I’m exhausted by 9:30; she has me up at six to go “potty;” she didn’t arrive housetrained, so every hour (if not more frequently) one of us snaps the leash on her and takes her outside. She must go out fifteen times a day! My husband’s calling contractors to talk about pulling bushes out and putting up a fence. A fenced in yard can’t come soon enough!
But still, we love her regardless of the huge changes she’s brought to our lives. I’ll enjoy taking her through obedience, and she’s already made huge strides in housetraining so I have faith that she’ll master that soon. Oh, and guess what: both my adult boys have dogs in their lives now! It’s addictive!
My love of canines led me to write Path to Discovery, a story that features a dog. Duchess lives in a New York City apartment with her owner, Broadway actress Roxanne Frazier. During a date with her co-star Tieg Miller, the unspeakable happens and Duchess is kidnapped right from under their noses. Together they are driven to follow the clues to locate Roxanne’s beloved pet, the pain and misery of not knowing where or how Duchess is, driving her. I could only imagine the angst Roxanne was going through, because I can’t imagine even being able to sleep if one of my own dogs disappeared.
For a chance to win a free ebook copy of Path to Discovery, please comment with the name of your pet and what you love about him/her. Or a story you’d like to share about your favorite pet!