Dog Love

“Life begins when the kids are gone and the dog dies.”

I remember seeing that quote on a bumper sticker years ago.  At the time I had three small children and one large Rhodesian Ridgeback named Kali.  I lived in a state of low-level overwhelm most of the time although I’m not sure I was in touch with it.   I remember laughing knowingly at the bumper sticker, my then cynical (and overwhelmed) self pining for a time when I would have more freedom from both kids and dog.  Well the kids grew up and moved out (I miss them all) and at age twelve the dog died.  I miss her too.  I wish I could have been more present more of the time for them all.

Luckily (or maybe it’s not luck at all) my relationships with my kids have shifted in delightful ways as they have taken on more and more responsibility for their own lives.  They are exciting and fascinating people. We remain connected and sometimes, if they are around (and they let me), I can still find ways to actively support and nurture them.  This usually involves food, cheerleading, the occasional shopping trip and always an attentive ear.

At the same time I have missed having a dog around.  Occasionally David and I discuss the merits of having a dog (a fluffy golden doodle perhaps–soooo cute!) but we both really know that we don’t want to be tied down at this point in our lives.  So when I get to spend a few days with Sam’s dog, Deacon…

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…it makes dog-loving heart sing.  Deacon is a beagle/basset hound mix.  He’s goofy and sweet and spent half of last night nestled in bed between me and David.  OK, he was really on top of David.  Kali was never very well trained and she was kind of an aloof dog.  Sam has trained Deacon very well, and he has that “glad to be part of the team” rescue dog personality.  I adore him, and I’m very grateful that Sam brings him along when he comes to visit.  I had some fun yesterday snapping photos:

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On the couch…oops!

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This close-up is my favorite:

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Thanks Deacon, for bringing your delicious dog energy into my house.  You rock.

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