I have to honestly admit that I no longer wonder why I have a dog. Even when I enter the den and all the dog toys are scattered around the room. I know exactly why she is in my life. It wasn’t long ago when I tried to convince myself that I did not need an animal. Buffy, my dog of 15 years, had died with cancer, and I told myself that I did not need to be saddled with new vet bills and afternoon walks that led me beside every tree and mail box for two miles. Was I ever wrong! The house may have been filled with peopleâ€”laughing and talking, but it also was vacant because it was dogless. Having to deal with that void, changed me. In the past, I would have ranted over the endless stream of toys tossed here and there. “What a mess,” I would have lamented and quickly picked up each one. Now, I gladly wade through the puppy pile of stuff without one word of discord. Or I just pick up a few and put them back in the toy bin.
One of my absolute favorite things is this: at night before I turn off the lights, I love to look down the hallway to see if some stray toy has made its way halfway back to the bedroom. Usually, poor P Bearâ€”the one with the slightly chewed ears and the licked-clean headâ€”is face down in the rug. It is a sight that never fails to make me smile. I don’t pick him up. I just leave him there because he reminds me that the house is full now because a dog lives here.
I snapped the top photo and before I could walk away, Cocoa ran in and grabbed the sock that Janice sent home to her. It was time to play!
It was also time to think about playing a game of “keep away”Â . . . from me.
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