I’m typing this with a sprained wrist. The other day the dogs and I had a disagreement and I wound up flying through the air straight at the back wall of the house. I hit with my right hand, right knee and the left side of my glasses. This isn’t the first time the dogs have caused me to fall. I can remember sitting on the beach a few months ago wondering if I’d ever get up after little (70-pound) Chico got scared by the waves coming at him. I had some major bruises, but I walked away. This time I got a trip to the ER, a splint, an enforced vacation from my music and a major slowdown in my writing. I am not supposed to be typing, but this hurts a lot less than doing dishes.
Anyway, Chico and Annie, 19-month-old lab-bull terrier siblings, have never and would never attack me. They’re just big, and they play rough. Sometimes they’re stubborn. Many of my friends, my father, my pastor and others are recommending that I get rid of the dogs. Only one friend, who is childless by marriage like me, insists that I can’t possibly get rid of my babies. They are my babies, having arrived in my arms at 8 weeks old, when they were 8 and 9 pounds. I have certainly considered looking for a family to love them. They are good with other people, including children, but a little scary with other dogs. Still they are the only company I have in this house these days, and the quiet would be unbearable. Right now they are sleeping in the living room, but any minute, Chico or Annie could come into my office and lay a warm nose in my lap. I would miss that.
These being the only “babies,” I’ll ever have, I feel an obligation to care for them as long as I can. Maybe I can’t keep them forever, but I intend to try. I’m still training them. They have already learned so much. They knock me down, but they also make me laugh and give me someone to hug when I need it. And these days, with no kids and my husband in a nursing home, I need it.