Saturday, July 12, 2014

FAITHFUL FRIENDS

No matter how far I run, no matter what kind of mood I'm in, I know I'll always be greeted warmly upon my return home. And although I often desire a cool glass of water or a towel, I am usually greeted with a shoe or an article of clothing. There is often a great deal of jockeying for position and vying for my attention, and sometimes wobbly legs are body blocked by impatient creatures milling around my feet.

On my way out the door, I am compelled to announce that I'm "Going to work." If I reveal that I'm actually going for a run, chaos reigns.

Dixie, my 8-year old Labrador Retriever, used to be a faithful running partner. A torn ligament of her hind leg, and the ravages of age have reduced both her mileage and her pace. She still turns in an occasional speed workout, however, whenever she sees a squirrel.

Ruby, a 6-year old Redbone Coonhound, is pure hound. She enjoys plenty of sleep, interrupts running workouts with frequent sniff breaks, but will chase rabbits all day long.

Dixie, with her thick fur, loves the winter; while Ruby enjoys hot summer weather. They have their rituals and routines. In the morning, Dixie faithfully fetches my morning newspaper, and Ruby laps leftover milk from my cereal bowl like a cat.

Our king size bed has shrunk significantly, as both dogs insist on sleeping with us.

Our dogs, like your dogs, are faithful, forgiving, and non-judgmental. They are spoiled, and they deserve to be. They are an integral part of our family. Last year as I lie in agony with a torn hamstring tendon, Dixie was by my side. She can sense when my wife or I are in pain or suffering from an ailment.

Enjoy your pets. They are terrific companions and faithful friends. Talk to them like humans, smile when you find their fur on your clothes, appreciate that "wet dog" smell.

Our time with them is way too short.