When home, I can usually be found in my upstairs space, the former "Man Room" hanging out with yarn and fabric or toiling away on day-job related matters. When the family requires sustinence, the kitchen is the place to find me. Searching for me in the evenings? Check the clawfoot tub. However, wherever I may be, one or more faithful canines can be found at my feet.
With the older daughter in college, her Cairn Terrier Riley has decided I am "the next best thing." Despite being a terrier-ist, he is a sweetie. At eight, he has finally calmed down enough to be enjoyed as an inside couch potato pet. His first two years were touch-and-go. As a result, he holds the distinction of being the one and only terrier we will ever have. Although, I have not told him yet.
Remy, the nine-month-old Standard Poodle, thinks I am the bestest, though. He keeps me in his line of vision at all times. When I get home in the afternoon and step out to greet him, he repeatedly jumps straight up into the air, eye-level with me, unable to curb his joy as he releases an effusive "Yip! Yip!" Impressive for a beast whose growl rattles the windows and deep-throated bark sends the meter men running for the front door in the hopes someone is home to contain the dog long enough for them to pop around back. Remy is definitely the master of the joyful homecoming.
Wee One is not so wee, anymore. She will be eleven this winter, but she is still the baby. In recent months she has been regularly plagued with bad dreams, which send her scurrying into our bedroom at all hours of the night. Her habit had become to appear in the darkness with pillow and blanket in tow, announce her presence a moment before hitting the floor, and bedding down at the foot of our bed for the remainder of the night.
A couple of weeks ago, with the prospect of another school year looming before us, I decided to try something new: I offered to allow Remy to sleep in her room. Unlike the older daughter who has always been enamored of all creature-like things (snakes, hedgehogs, rodents, and dogs), the younger daughter has typically chosen to appreciate them from afar. Despite her aversion to being licked, pawed, and nosed, she immediately agreed, explaining she is scared when she wakes at night.
When bedtime came around, she got a treat from the pantry and lured Remy into her room. He readily complied, the prospect of food being a heady mistress. As a big puppy (seventy pounds and counting), allowing him on the furniture has not been an option, especially as I share my bed with a 200 pound husband; however, seeing the child take to the dog's loving attention, I did not object when she patted the bed and called his name. Apparently, neither did Remy. Flat-footed he sprung right up and settled down next to her like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Later that night, I checked on them and found Remy had retreated to the rug on the floor right next to her bed. She was sleeping soundly, and he seemed content to keep watch over her.
Everyone slept well.
Days passed, and I asked the child if she were still having bad dreams. "Yes, Ma'am," she answered, "I had one last night, but when I woke up, Remy was there, and I went back to sleep."
While willing to continue to share my beastie with the baby girl child, I think it is time the husband got a new dog of his own, too. We lost his Golden Retriever Skeet a year ago to cancer. Prodding him gently the other day, I sent him a picture from a breeder of Labrador Retrievers in Kerrville.
What is not to love about a face like that?
Yarn poor or dog poor, does it really matter? The joy is priceless!