Sunday, May 17, 2015

What the kid-self wished for

In the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of living with eight dogs. Just what I hoped my life was going to be, a house full of pets, up to four at a time. My past kid self is pleased with my future adult self.

The big dogs: Ouzel, the lab-golden, Taiko Chan Fuzzy-wiggle, the Rottie-border collie, Murray, the ancient German shepherd, Atticus Finch Esq., the likely shepherd-boxer.

Wren, new on the scene, the gateway chihuaua. Gracie, unnerved, the camera a worry.

Then the smaller, from six to 30 pounds: Gracie Lucille, possibly whippet-Jack Russell, Wren, chi-terrier, George Eliot, chiweenie, and Chibi Lillet, chihuahua.

My first dog was 80 pounds, the newest six. It’s a clear weight trajectory, with a few shepherds thrown in to mess up the trend.

I have had a chance to see over and over their utter forgiveness and willingness to trust, after moving to a new home with me. Their eyes light up at the offer of a walk. They clean up all the dropped food in the kitchen. They hog the the bed, but I am never alone when I nap.

As a vet, I have had these dogs as teachers too. Each has had its own set of sufferings, large and small. Three with storm phobia, one with severe sound sensitivity, two with fear aggression, four with territorial aggression. Two with hemoabdomen, one with hemothorax. One with acute paralysis. One with allergies and dry eye. Three with luxating patellas. One with pancreatitis. One with a slow-healing eye ulcer. One with food obsession. Two with leash reactivity. Two with incessant dental disease.

And what to make of these enumerations?

A spark lights in my chest when I see these pups when I get home. Every single time. They are the best part of my day.

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