We've rescued our share of doggies, but now that Shadow, Mitzi, Crumpets, Clancy and Arya have gone to either dog heaven or St. Louis, I can feel the little nudges for yet another replacement animal.
When our latest, Arya, had to leave with my grandchildren to move to St. Louis, it was a mixed blessing. On one hand we were free from the dominating 55-pound whatever-she-is burden/blessing. Yet, we are living in a house dog-free.
That seems just wrong on a lot of levels, since we usually like having a loyal spoiled tail-wagging family member present. Yet, living without a dog means no vet bills, nothing to worry about when we go on trips, and great savings in feed.
While we have decided not to even consider another dog right now, Sally has been surfing the dog sites and dropping hints like hot lead. I am holding off, pretending not to hear her when she talks about cute Doxies she has looked at on her iPad.
What I want is a little time dogless to recover from the responsibilities of owning mutts. But when we have friends posting pictures of their darlings, and neighbors who have taken ownership of a new canine, the dog undertow gets hard to ignore.
Sure, I know there is another one of those furry best friends in the future, and I do miss having a dog around. Still, let's wait until, say, after Christmas?
What keeps me from running out to the Humane Society and picking up a nice lap pup is perhaps mostly my heart.
I had it broken so many times with the dogs that decided to run over the rainbow, and when Arya left for St. Louis, I missed her so much on my walks that when Elvis came on my headset singing about Old Shep, I actually teared up.
Who needs that?
The heartbreak of animal mortality occurs so many times in our lives, simply because the darned dogs live shorter lives than we do.
We've got ashes of two of them in the garden with little look-alike monuments, and the thought of planting a third is really a lot to ask.
But, it will go like this: Sally will continue hounding me, and finally I will tell her I will do it for her.
Wait! Isn't that just a lie, since I'd like a dog, too?
Just not right now.
People tell us there are lots of homeless dogs out there who we can rescue. Pictures in the newspaper show this week's adoptable adorables. I get ASPCA mail begging me to become a pet people again.
Agggggghhhh! Give me a break!
God forbid some stray wanders into our yard. I am sure it would be an ugly dog, but we'd probably find it hard to leave it at the kennel if it were not claimed in a week or so. We've got this thing about a dog touching our doorstep and never, ever turning it away if it is not owned.
I think I'll put out a dog trap in the front yard. Just a little pit filled with filet mignon, that might catch a critter before it reaches our door. I could just scoop it up and take it to the pond.
I hope Sally won't be watching.