When my old roommates from Arizona learned that I had a dog on our reunion trip to Key West, they were aghast. And I was aghast that they were aghast. When I lived with my Minnesota snow birds in the late 80’s, they each had a dog – freaked out German Shepherd and annoying cocker spaniel. I kept the door to my bedroom closed, because I couldn’t imagine sleeping with all that dog hair around. They would wander in occasionally and sniff around, wag and slip out.

A decade or so later, I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, spend half of my volunteer time in dog activities, travel across the country with my service dog in training, fantasize about search and rescue ‘career’ and can’t pass a canine without making an adoring comment.  So, they were all aghast at my transformation, and I had completely forgotten that I had ever lived sans puppy breath.

Toby on left eating, Bucky at bottom waiting for tidbits, Rio up top waiting to bat food to Simi

Toby on left eating, Bucky at bottom waiting for tidbits, Rio up top waiting to bat food to Simi

Smiling Simi waiting for food!

Smiling Simi waiting for food!

A decade or so later, down to 1 dog, 1 cat …. and 2 kids. The constant animal hair pick up takes on new meaning when you’re cleaning for 6 and you’re slowly getting a new house, one excruciating renovation phase at a time. It’s mid-morning again, Jim took one cupcake to the grocery store and I am taking a break between steps 3 and 4 of what it takes to clean our fabulous wood floors (crap pick up, vacume, steam, swiffer the baseboards).

2011 - Bucky adjusts to small creatures with STICK!

2011 – Bucky adjusts to small creatures with STICK!

As I sit here typing,  I look over at Bucky, asleep on the pile of freshly cleaned laundry, I love him to pieces and love how Clifton just sits on him and tugs on his collar; he’s a member of our family.  And kids should have dogs.  But he’s 8 years old, and when he joins Simi and Toby in the eternal Crane Creek, an animal hair break might be in consideration.

For now, it’s back to step 4 or I might just let Arthur cream me in a Wii swordplay game again!

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