I sit on my living room couch and observe my surroundings. The house was professionally cleaned two days ago, but now who could tell I paid $100 for a service to put things in order? I had a ten-minute window of ahhhh, when everything looked fresh. Then the dogs started moving. Six of them walking, then romping, in front of me. I could see fur start to fly as they wrestled playfully with each other. Then I looked up and the rays of sunlight streaming in from my large picture window exposed dog hair and dust particles floating in the air. My house never stays clean long. Please don't wear black if you visit.
Note, that while I am resting on the couch, my arm is in a sling. An unfortunate accident due to my dogs. I tripped on dog pee. A week later surgery for a badly torn rotator cuff. Yet two days after surgery I could hardly wait for the dogs to join me in the bedroom once again.
First my seven pound Chi, Chloe, slipped through the wooden baby gate I had tilted across the hallway door leading to my room. She jumped up, wearing her little orange and pink ruffled shirt. She prefers wearing something rather than just her fur coat. I think that is to protect her from the mouthing of the others. Chloe sniffed my black sling and looked concerned. Then she did her twice round spin and curled up on my stomach. A great night’s sleep, feeling her tiny heartbeat thumping softly on my tummy.
The next night Annabelle, the chunky hound, was allowed past the gate. Once she lumbered down the hall I put the gate back up. She slipped in the bedroom looking at the bed. I had recently moved a small needlepoint low bench to the foot of the bed to make the transition from floor to bed easier for her. Annabelle's figure made it difficult to hop up as she did six months ago. She moved her paws from bench to bed and smiled her toothless grin. Chloe snarled a minute then licked Annabelle’s ears as the two drifted off. So did I. My life was getting back to order. Petting the dogs eased the little pain I felt.
Finally my old lady, Foxy, walked down the hallway until she reached the spot she has slept on for fourteen years. I heard a loud thud as her thin, bony body hit the floor. She stretched her scrawny legs and put her head on the pillow under her and fell into a deep sleep. All is right. I may be in bits and pieces, but my dogs are back in place.
My other three dogs like to sleep on the chairs and sofa in the living room. They burrow under colorful lap quilts and snore and, oh yes, fart the night away. They are pleased they don't have the others in their space. They can sprawl where they please.
I look at my beautiful hardwood floors as I sip my morning coffee. I see large black stains at one end of the dining room that alerts me a dog (dogs) is still peeing in the house. I am prepared with cleaner for sanity reasons. The stain may be a forever stain until I pony up money for refinishing the floors. Not likely with six dogs still here.
My fall put me on notice to watch the floors for wet spots and to wear shoes at all times. I walk like I am a hundred.
My vet is making a house call on Monday, since I can’t handle driving, dogs and a sling. Wait until the hell hounds descend on him. He already thinks I am nutty. Monday I will convince him. Seeing one dog at a time is different then seeing a six-pack in the house.
Let's sum up living with six dogs for nine months:
- dislocated shoulder
- rotator cuff surgery
- hiring someone to clean house
- stained hardwood floors
- replaced three (thrift store) chairs because I have a chewer
- slipcovers on chairs so cushions can't be pulled to floor
- dog hair in places air can't get to
- area rugs pitched
- dog nose prints on front windows
- fenced in yard to let dogs out
- three pairs of glasses eaten
- vacumn destroyed trying to clean rugs
- pizza slices disappear off table when I go for a soda refill
- last, and only date, ran out quickly
Sounds like hooligans? No. Just joyful, playful dogs.
Cost: don't ask.
You can replace rugs, floors, furniture.
Pizza? Gotta think on that one.
Surgery? Well I was the one not watching where I was going.
Dates? Find me a man who can like my dogs and I will have found a good man.
My dogs have taught me unconditional love. No matter what they do, I can only smile at their sweet faces waiting to kiss me with wet, sloppy, licks to melt my heart.
This is a special moment in time for me. Six dogs. A handful to take care off. But they never stop loving me. They teach me I should do the same. Love my family and friends like a new puppy would, filling each moment with unconditional love.
As soon as I get out of this sling we will start some training again. But most nights, the dogs are quietly curled up sleeping all around me, while I enjoy the view.