I have two dogs; we have two dogs. I’ve had dogs all my life but they were always family dogs; my relationship with them was limited. I’m used to being around dogs but I would never have one, on my own. I’m not responsible enough to guarantee their well-being. I’m loving, kind and generous but I am also absent-minded. I get lost, obsessing. I would not trust myself to take good care of anyone by myself. If necessity demanded that I do, I’d figure something out. I’m pretty resourceful, too.
Silver, on the other hand, surrounds herself with life, primarily dogs, cats and plants although we have been visited by a host of other animals over the years. When we met, she had three Weimaraners, between eighty and a hundred pounds; The youngest, Thai, died a few years ago at fourteen. Silver’s dogs always live long, full lives.
Cookie, a gorgeous tall Brittany, succumbed to diabetes last fall. I’ve had her since she was a puppy, pushed into my hands during an explosive divorce. By my side for fourteen years, she was happy, energetic and always with me. Because of the traumas engulfing us, she felt more like my comrade than my child. She was a friend, always there.
Thai had, similarly, been Silver’s close companion. After a year of grief, while Cookie was still active though diabetic, we decided to adopt two Vizsla puppies, eight weeks old.
Stacey takes care of the dogs primarily, feeds them, tends them, maintains their schedules. But my relationship with the dogs is no less intense, no less sincere, no less unbounded. I’ve had children and it’s not the same but it is of the same kind. Nursing someone through extreme vulnerability creates the strongest bond we can know.
My life, our life, is dominated by these energetic, sensitive in-your-face speed-demons. Alongside the four cats and plants, so many plants.