I have two dogs, both geriatric, so it’s logical that we hear this question so often.
Will I get another dog – subtext: when Kate and Clara are gone?
I’ve lived with dogs forever – a parade of dachshunds through childhood, noble or idiotic, gentle loves or ankle-biting terrors; I loved them all. Jonathan and I found an abandoned puppy on our honeymoon and smuggled him in from Canada. We’ve had 1-3 resident dogs ever since, mostly, as my brother says, “of the street.”
They comfort and love. They make us laugh. On a dreary winter afternoon when I can’t find my way to the starting gate, they nose my elbow, lie by my side, leap up hopefully when I rise, lay a chin on my lap. They disallow me from sinking too far into myself, which is irritating, but exactly what I need.
Think of the spontaneity that could open up in a dog-free home, the ease of travel, the clean carpets.
But then, what about the hollow nothingness upon entering an empty house? The long, quiet days, no one to demand my attention, my activation, my eye contact?
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 164: 190 words, TOTAL = 26,806; 33,194 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.