Same intelligent locked-on-you gaze and those little adorable eyebrows. Ears soft as velvet. And that same serious mouth as designed by the Wallace & Gromit cartoonists.
But a whole year older now. February 19 marks the milestone event of bringing a third dog into my home (see Newest Golden Child ). How many dogs can I have and still be married? Today, the answer to this is the same as last February. That would be three.
We welcomed this cotton ball called Yaxley into our family to train and socialize for the next eighteen months for Canine Companions for Independence. The Mighty Micron was still a pup in training last February, so we did overlap two CCI pups for the next three months until Micron’s matriculation into Advanced Training in May. A feat of bravery we proved can indeed be done, but did require some serious attention and help from others. My friend, and sometimes cohort, Mary Ann was invaluable during this time. She is one of the unsung CCI volunteers – supportive, knowledgeable and blessedly always there when you need her. She’s been the wind beneath the angel wings of seven CCI puppies.
So did I learn anything new with pup #3 over this last year? Sure, I did. There’s always new enlightenment to be discovered with these yellow fuzzies. Lessee, I already knew about there was no such thing as a quick grocery trip with a CCI pup. And to keep two sticky lint rollers in my purse (one for me and the other share). And that mud is my mortal enemy.
They say after four dogs in your house, it’s all the same. You can keep adding from there because it just won’t make a difference after that. But with three, I still had some shred of value system for cleanliness. The wood stairwell seemed to be growing a coat of its own. The Swiffer WetJet was threatening to defect during the rainy season. I started to get paranoid about potluck events and brought fur-free goodies fresh from the grocery (“I bought it myself!”) instead of home-cooked fare.
And how does dog hair get to the top of the door frames anyway?
So over the last year, I learned coping skills. And to tell friends and family to give me at least a thirty minutes heads up before they come over. I learned a single dog hair in the meatloaf ain’t gonna kill ya. And using a fabric softener and dryer sheet combo system, it is a teensy bit more effective in getting yellow fur to release its tenacious hold on my favorite black sweater.
And I learned that I absolutely love sharing my life with these wonderful critters. I’ll never be renowned for my housekeeping skills and that’s just fine with me. My world is filled, maybe even overflowing, with the warm companionship you can only get from a dog’s heart. So if I have to pluck yet another hair from my mug o’joe tomorrow morning, I think I’ll just continue to consider myself one lucky chick.
Unless it turns out to be a cat hair. That’s different.