"You have six dogs?" It was not so much a question as a statement bordering on disapproval.
"Sure do." My chest puffed out a bit, which made my own puppies look larger than I like. Had to make my point, and just a simple yes without the body language did not seem strong enough. "Had my old dog Foxy and then started adopting dogs from my local shelters."
"That's not having pets. That's having a pack. Ridiculous!" The man speaking to me is actually a friend I haven't seen in some months.
"Well, they are my writing muses." I admit I am chicken. Why I just can't say I love sleeping with dogs, I don't know. So I go the other route and make them sound like they are my work in progress. If I think about it, they are. I love dogs. I love to write about dogs. Every time I open my mouth I talk about dogs. My new book, Covered In Fur, is about dogs. I am a dog person.
Make Note: I am not a dog hoarder.
So, yet again, I am defending my position that I chose to bring five dogs into my home in a nine month period. Add in my old gal Foxy, I have a six-pack at home. If I were younger, I could have had a baby in that time frame. But instead, I filled my home with dogs that needed love as much as I did. Now there is a big love fest here nightly.
They eat my chairs, they have ruined my rugs, they have nibbled on my primitive old painted coffee table. They can be like locusts when they are bored and swarm through my living room eating whatever is in their path. I come home and am never sure what my house will be like, but I know it will be full of life. And that is what makes it all worthwhile. Life. A home brimming with it.
Then there is the other factor: unconditional love. My love for them, but more importantly, their love for me.
I have tossed away five rugs, there is one remaining in my living room. Will it last? I hope so. But if not, I will stencil in big letters on my old and gently worn hardwoods, I used to have rugs, but now I have dogs.
Life. What would it be like if it were neat and tidy? I like mine spiced with dog kisses and wagging tails. While my pack gets a little roudy when I am gone, the minute I step through my door they are my well behaved children. The Leader Of The Pack has returned and they know who is in charge.
Hard to say that about kids. But then most kids don't pee on your rugs, or so I am told.