Since I have had to set up my own household, the kids and I have adopted two dogs. Both animals were from our local county animal shelter. The first was Abby (photo on the right). The second and most recent is Jewel (photo on the left).
They are part of our family.
Abby was a long hair mixed bread who was an older dog. The adoption papers suggested that she was perhaps 10 years old, and came to our local shelter after living in the Taos area. Set in her ways, she would always great me at the door when I came home, often sitting there looking outside through a window that was floor height.
She immediately fit into the family, but was not the kind of dog who liked to wrestle with son. Even though he picked her out of all of the dogs at the pound, she was my dog. When she wanted something, it was me that she would always visit. Short walks were fine, but she certainly would let you know when it was time to go home. I think that is a trait that she learned from my kids. We had Abby for a little over two years before she passed away from a seizure. We have a lock of her hair, a paw print and her cremated remains in a picture box in the dining room of the house.
At her passing, I wrote a little poem. It went like this:
Rest In Peace my four-legged friend.
Our time together, albeit brief, has come to an end.
I rescued you from the pound,
You rescued me from being lost.
Together our love and friendship grew.
I already miss your wagging tail, and your growls of joy when you roll on my pile of dirty clothes.
Your barking when you would greet me at the door,
was evermore poetic with the kids in tow.
My loss of joy makes this pain so acute.
It will exhaust me with each passing day I am sure,
But in the end, we will meet once again.
Some months passed before we got another dog. Her name is Jewel. A pit bull terrier, she equally had a troubled life. Abused and injured before she was two years old, I can only describe her as a very lovable ball of pure energy. Just looking at her chasing her tail wears me out.
She also likes to look out the window next to the door. And she loves long walks that allow me to really get a workout. She also is my dog even though the kids picked her at the pound.
In my life, I have only had four other dogsthat I called part of my family. They had less interesting names: Tinkle, Tippy, Buffy and Dash. Dash was the family dog after I got married. She was the dog who was around when the kids were born. A golden retriever, Dash was a great dog. The other dogs are from my childhood years growing up in Pennsylvania.
Dogs are just great. They are family.