My dogs tirelessly and relentlessly protect our home from the hoards of invisible squirrels that they swear invade our back yard. Without them, those fuzzy little creatures would walk along our fence all day long, waggling their butts at passersby. They are unsung heroes.
Ziggy (the younger of the two dogs) has always been concerned with the health and wellbeing of the children. He supervises every diaper change to ensure that my butt-wiping skills are up to snuff. In the event that I have failed to meet his standard of quality control, he finishes the job for me with his tongue. He is a saint.
The dogs are also very sensitive to my lack of sleep since having the children. They have kept themselves abreast on all the current baby sleep studies and have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the baby never sleeps for too long during the day. They know this could cause him to sleep less at night. So they make sure to bark as loudly as possible every thirty minutes or so as long as the baby is napping. They are quite thorough.
In addition to their responsibility as sleep monitors, they also serve as very effective birth control. During sleeping hours they insist on forming a fuzzy barrier between my husband and me under the covers, and should we be so foolish as to breach said barrier they insist on licking any and every piece of exposed skin they can find. Nothing says “cover up” like a dog violating your personal space.
Wicket (the oldest of my boys) has always been a reliable and formidable critic of most art mediums. He has shown his disdain for paintings by taking a dump right in the middle of the pile of papers. He has chewed offending throw pillows and urinated on sofas he felt clashed with the drapery. He is also a film buff. His favorites include: G.I. Jane, The Lake House, and Grease. He is continually striving to elevate my taste in movies. If I have ever rented, or borrowed from a friend, a DVD, he always makes sure to preview the movie and chew up anything he feels isn’t worth our time. I can only imagine the countless hours he has saved me. Bravo, Wicket, Bravo.
Both dogs are extremely thoughtful. When it is cold or raining outside, they make sure to poop inside the house where it is convenient for me to clean up. They abhor the idea of me having to brave the cold in order to pick up poop from the yard. What an unnecessary discomfort when there are perfectly good area rugs just laying around the house, waiting to be pooped on. Our yard is spotless.
They have also honed their abilities to recognize even the quietest sounds as potential knocks at the door. If ever a person knocks on our door, or knocks on the neighbors’ doors, or even thinks about knocking on a door within a half-mile radius, they let us know. It saves me hours of spying, not to mention the carpal tunnel from all the curtain twitching, to know the comings and goings of the entire neighborhood. If you live near me, don’t even think about having an affair. I’ll know.
Apart from their inexplicable hatred for squirrels, the dogs are avid animal lovers. They make sure to test all the seed we leave out for the birds to make sure none of it has gone off. They also smear their noses along every glass surface in the house, including the interior doors, just in case a bird ever flies into our living room. They will be sure to see the glass and not fly into it. As long as they are not flying more than two feet off the ground.
Although they have no chores of their own, they are very good at reminding my husband of his household duties. When the garbage can gets full, they kindly pee all down the side of it to alert my husband that it is time to change the bag. Should he miss that very subtle signal, they also leave a neat little pool around the base so that anyone walking near the can will step right in it. It may not be a popular method, but it is effective.
They are irreplaceable members of our household. Without them, who would break in the furniture? Who would pee on strangers’ shoes when they entered the house? Who would lovingly wash your feet and face (in that order) after a long day? No one.
Our dogs love us and our children with a fierceness and loyalty that only a mother can outdo. They are a constant source of entertainment, warmth, and admiration. They are our first loves. They are our practice babies. They are our often maligned, sometimes forgotten, but always faithful best friends, and they deserve a thank you.
“My little dog- a heartbeat at my feet” Edith Wharton
When I initially posted this piece only about 25 people actually read it, so I’m revamping it and linking up with Indecisively Blogging’s Tickled Tuesday. This week’s topic was: ANIMALS.