– Billy Graham
When you get old you’re supposed to have all the answers.
I seem to get more and more questions.
Such as … why do so many people I know have dogs?
Or, why do I have dogs?
Or, why is my life, at this advanced stage of age and professional achievement, seemingly dictated by two little white terriers who neither sign my paycheck nor contribute to an annual retirement plan?
At our house, for example, we do not get up with an alarm clock. We get up when the dogs get up. If the dogs sleep late, we do, too. (This, however, is rare.)
Dogs, I have learned, are not the least bit shy about letting you know they would like to go outside.
Last week the older terrier was knocking on the bedroom door with his head between 4 and 5 a.m., before finally pushing it open. Apparently he was showing his puppy understudy how it was done because she bounded into the room right behind him and attacked my feet as I swung out of the bed looking for house shoes.
Will they be this aggressive if burglars break in?
I think they will because they bark at everything that even gets close to the front yard. They both like to sit on either side of the front door looking out of the bottom window panes that frame it.
Let one human amble past on the street and they will begin a barking, yapping fury that drowns out the TV set in a faraway room where the man who fills their food dish is trying to watch a football game.
This man is indoors on a nice September day because he is essentially “pet watching.” He and his wife seldom travel together anymore because someone has to “stay with the dogs.”
And why don’t we take the dogs with us?
Well, this depends on: A). the time we’ll be gone – 8 hours is about the limit, B). the availability of neighbors to watch them, C). hotels to accept them, or D). whether the person being visited minds dogs, or (as is often the case) has a dog that accepts company.
And what do you see when you watch dogs for 8 hours?
You know, for small, barking, early-rising furry mammals with active metabolisms, dogs sure sleep a lot.
So much so, I might be lulled into joining them on the couch on a lazy weekend – one little animal stretched out on the pillow at my feet while the other curls into a ball on the floor by my head. And the only thing I can hear as I drift off is the vague hum of the ceiling fan overhead and an occasional, barely audible dog snore.
Why would anyone put up with this?
Another question for another day.