I don’t feel that I owe anyone an explanation about why I have so many dogs. But I have found myself wondering what its all about. Perhaps a brief history of Debby and dogs will help.
I used to keep my poor sister awake at night reciting all 115 breeds of AKC recognized purebred dogs FROM MEMORY. I listed them alphabetically by each group that they were in (Sporting, Hounds, etc.) I LOVED everything about dogs, and especially purebred dogs. I read books about showing dogs (Champion Dog, Prince Tom, and The Green Poodles–anyone got a copy of this book?) were two of my favorites.
Finally, I got my purebred Cocker Spaniel (show type) for my 13th birthday. That led to about 17 years of raising and showing purebred dogs, and having a kennel and being a professional dog handler. For a long long time I had a LOT of dogs. And then I didn’t.
Blah blah blah….Life changes, college, career…
And then I got kind of mad at purebred dog breeders. In their attempt to breed the most beautiful dogs, many times MAJOR health issues have been allowed to proliferate in many breeds. And the prices they charged were, in my mind, sinful. People are starving. Literally.
But I still like purebred dogs. So I turned to rescue. Well, that comes with another set of potential problems. Mostly rescue dogs are a good deal, because they are grown, and at least their physical problems are known, and if its a good rescue organization, they will have evaluated the temperament of the dog, and can help to match the dog to the person adopting it. But sometimes a rescue organization seems to be a little blind to the reality of the situation. “Here is Bowser. He is missing one leg and is blind. He only needs a daily pill that will cost you $100 per month. His rescue fee is $350.” What?!?!? You should pay me to give this dog a good home. Most often, these days, I have had very good luck rescuing dogs from local shelters.
But I digress. How did I end up today with five dogs (one small-dog pod of a Miniature Dachshund, two Pugs, and a little Shih-Tzu/Yorkie cross, and Noah, the big white Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd cross.) Well, after Mr. Monk the Pug died, I kept watching Petfinder. Last fall I saw a little female Pug online at the same shelter where I got Mr. Monk. Its a really nice shelter, and they have a foster program there. So I wrote to the foster coordinator about her, and she wrote back saying that she wasn’t available for adoption right now because there was something wrong with one eye. Okay, forget that. I didn’t want to adopt a dog with a known problem anyway. And then I saw cute little Zoey online at our local shelter! So I got her. I think I’d only had her for a few weeks when the foster coordinator wrote back that the female pug had been cleared by UC Davis Veterinary Clinic, and was I still interested in her? Yes, it was ridiculous, but I WAS interested in her.
I am surprised myself at how much I am enjoying having these four little girls in the house with me. Noah, by his own choice, spends ninety percent of his time outside. He comes in just enough that I get to have my big boy hugs from him. And then its back outside to keep watch on the neighborhood. The little girls sleep a lot, and take turns on my lap in the evening. Each of them has their own personality, and I really enjoy watching them and interacting with them, and yes, babying them. I am retired, and because I am trying to work full time as a studio artist, I want to stay home more often than not. For this period of my life, the dog pod is just perfect for me.
Part of me wants to think that God created me loving dogs, and I am just doing my little part to care for some of the millions of unwanted dogs in this country. The other part of me knows that it is just for me. I enjoy dogs.