Friday, December 18, 2009


I have been taking care of my Granddog, Chloe,  for a few days while my children are out of town.  She is a 6 year old 6lb Maltese, an energetic bundle of love and joy.  I always forget what a huge responsibility a dog is, and how much real attention they need.

She has been to my home often, so that isn't a big shock for her, but when she stays over I see her working to figure out how and where she fits in.  She isn't sure where she should relax during the day, or where she should sleep at night.  She is unsure of which noises are normal, and which sounds she should warn me about.   She seems a bit quiet to me, and I think she misses her family.
Since I live in a highrise, I can't just let her out.  I can't just stay in my bed in the mornings drinking coffee.  I have to get dressed and take her out, no matter what the weather is.  If it is raining, she isn't real happy about it either.  Since our morning temperatures have been around freezing, I can see myself becoming one of those people with boots and overcoat thrown on over my pajamas.
I have also realized how vulnerable she is.  Yesterday she startled me in the park and I yanked on her leash and it sent her flying.  I left her in the car while I ran into the post office and she tangled herself in her leash around her body.  If it had been her neck she could have choked.  I didn't know she was right behind me and tripped over her, almost crushing her.  I learn to become more aware.

I get used to having her around, and when she leaves I will miss her. The house will seem quiet and empty.
I will want to get myself a dog, but I will know that my current lifestyle would not be fair to any pet. An animal that is so dependent on you deserves more time, attention and constant affection than I can give right now.

So I dream of the day I retire. Maybe I will be an old woman in Paris with my pampered little dog. She can ride in my shopping cart when I go to the marketplace, acompany me on strolls in the Champs de Mars, and sit with me in cafes where I will feed her tidbits from my plate.
But, more likely, we will enjoy Lee Park and the Katy Trail right here in Dallas.  And, just like Chloe,  my little dog will prance into the lobby where we live and wait for everyone to come and adore her.

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