It’s a Dog’s Life

Misty and Alexa

Though there are two in this photo, it’s actually the life of three dogs at our house. I know it seems the rabbits have top billing here, but the dogs have been around longer.

Our Queen Bee is Alexa. She’s almost 12 yrs. old, and had her name well before Amazon released its digital assistant. When our younger daughter got us the Dot for Christmas, we had to rename it. Otherwise, it was going to wake up every time we called the dog. Alexa is top dog here, not just because of her age. She’s bossy and territorial, except when it comes to the rabbits. I’ve mentioned before they freak her out. Most of her quirks are part of her breed(s) personality. We believe she is a Texas Heeler, usually a cross between Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd. Whatever she is, there is some Velcro mixed in as well. (True for all of our dogs, actually.) If she’s not laying on me during the night, she’s under the footrest of my recliner. These days, she’s not necessarily in any hurry to get up. I’ve gotten very good at getting out of my chair without putting the footrest down. I guess it’s her way of keeping me limber.

Belle, the Labrador Retriever, is nearly 10 yrs. old. Technically, she’s Karl’s dog and does spend a lot of time with him. It depends on hour of the day, or her mood. Sometimes, she just wants to be part of the pack. The rest of the time, if she’s with me, it’s because I’m doing something food related; getting close to afternoon pet feeding, cooking or eating something. While none of our dogs have been allowed to get overweight, they aren’t starved by any means. Belle’s existence is still very much motivated by food. In her mind, anything which comes in plastic packaging must be edible. She’s also never outgrown her tendency to swallow socks and underwear. Meaning we can never lose track of that stuff. Her little quirks drive me crazy. Even so, she’s a pretty mellow character most of time.

Then there is the Special Princess. Misty, our smallest dog (23 lbs.) is also the youngest. She’s going to be 9 yrs. soon. Unlike Alexa, she likes the rabbits. She wants to play with them. Unfortunately, there’s a language barrier, though Benjamin has no problem giving her some sass. Both she and Alexa are shelter puppies, meaning we don’t know their exact birthdays. Also like Alexa, she is a mixed breed, possibly a short-coated Toy or Boston Terrier and a Shetland Sheepdog. She is the Frack to Alexa’s Frick. (Or the Gilligan to Alexa’s Skipper.)

The two of them follow me all over the house most of the time, including being my writing buddies. However, since they’re getting old, they’re developing more of an appreciation for being on the bed with Karl. Every once in a while, I look up from whatever I’m working on and discover I’ve been abandoned. Oh well, it’s nice on occasion to put my chair’s footrest down, instead of climbing out of it.

Having senior pets is not new to us. During 31 years of marriage, we’ve owned a total of 7 dogs. Like everyone else, things have changed for us with the passage of time. After our current pets are gone, I’ve debated the possibility of not having any more. If one includes the rabbits, plus a couple of birds I had years ago, I think we’ve met our quota. Being without pets is a bridge we’re not in a particular hurry to cross since we love our fur babies, and did our best to give them long, healthy lives. Pet ownership is always a long-term commitment of several years in most cases. (Like my Energizer Bunny, Angus.) It should never be undertaken on a whim. We’ll just have to see what our circumstances are like at the time. Like many folks whose children have their own lives, we’ve had many discussions about down-sizing in one form or another, including being full-time RVers with our travel trailer.

My dream? If someone actually does build a house of the future which cleans and maintains itself, we and our future pets will be there the moment they finish it.

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