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Dog Lives Matter

September 10, 2021

I am a dog person.

Pretty sure that qualifies me as somewhat insane (less so than cat people).

I’ve always had small dogs. A poodle, a mid-size mutt as a kid, then the best dog in the world when I was an adult who was maybe 10 inches tall. After him, a Chihuahua and a Rat Terrier (Andy, Behaire, Rainier, Grizzly and Thunder). All small, and only the Chi shed much. Short white hairs everywhere. Or so I thought.

NOW I have a beautiful Lab/Hound mix, McKinley, our first girl and first “big” dog (there are bigger, but at 70 lbs and a foot and a half tall (on all fours), she’s twice as big as any other dog we’ve had), and a golden Huskita, Tehachapi, who is an inch shorter than McKinley, but about 4 inches wider. Kinley is needy, Hatch is independent.

Oh, and Hatch reproduces his non-fleshy parts copiously. I mean this dog SHEDS. We sweep a couple times a day and wake up to drifts of undercoat all over.

Further, these big dogs wreck sofas. We’ve never been a no-dog on the furniture family, and yes, our house has always had the dog smell funk, but these two can tip over the couch and regularly move it all over the rooms. Once they shredded a cushion.

They’ve also destroyed the back lawn. We had my daughter’s dogs with us for a while and they wrecked the side yard, but these two took out the whole thing. Our grass is rooted in sand, so when they chase each other (hours every day), they rip up anything they run over. The aggressive summer has brought some of it back, just the area around the pool enclosure is bare. They also realized when it was all gone that pooping on grass is better than pooping on sand (as the person who scoops it up every week, I can’t agree). And walking in the backyard is an adventure because big dogs never poop small.

Both love to get up close and breathe heavily in your face. More than once it’s occurred to me that I have an animal who could literally bite my face off just inches away from it.

You’d have to be crazy. Just stark, staring bonkers to have dogs.

But right now, one is sacked out by the door (hope Lynette doesn’t open it suddenly), and the other is asleep under my desk (have to remember not to move my feet much). They are both beautiful, one in sleek, black dog-perfection, and the other in golden hair, golden eyes wonder. They pine when I’m out of town, and they pine when Lynette is out of town. They love to play with each other, tearing through the house. And they love to cuddle. Kinley a lot and Hatch occasionally and not for long (people are hot!).

The Ying and Yang of it.

They also fill the house with presence. We’re older and either don’t radiate presence as much or can’t sense it as easily, but the house overflows with life. That’s probably why I’m a dog person. Houses need life.

These 140 pound puppies look to us for everything. They occasionally obey, and they look great draped over the couch.

I mentioned they are both puppies. Kinley is almost done growing and will max out around 75 pounds. Hatch, old thunderpaws, is nowhere near grown into his feet. My guess is he’ll grow 5 more inches and jump over 100 pounds.

The worst/best thing is that with these monsters, we can’t have people over. Best because we’re introverts who are happy not to have people over, and worst because sometimes it’s great to have people over.

Mostly, though, these dogs deserve a good life and they weren’t getting that before us. The beautiful, 14 pound McKinley was in a dog shelter, and little Hatch was… well, he’s safe now, and regularly fed.

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