Back in August, when my father became critically ill, we made arrangements to adopt his Australian Shepherd, Mariah, if anything happened to him. She has been with us a little while now, and I’ve made a few observations since the arrival of this delightful four-legged family member. Here they are in no particular order:
- The household cobwebs are no longer merely dusty; they are hairy. Quite the marvels, actually. And, I wonder if I could enter them as exhibits in my company’s upcoming employee art show to win some kind of prize for organic art creations…
- When I do manage to sweep the kitchen floor, I no longer find food crumbs in the corners under the cabinets—just dog hairs.
- I actually enjoy predawn walks—even in the cold. They get my day going briskly and add steps to my pedometer total. I love being the first to disturb the quiet, newly fallen snow—an experience I wouldn’t normally take advantage of in frigid temperatures, before the sun has risen.
- Did you know that grass, after a hard frost, actually crunches under foot? If the grass is long enough and the frost cold enough, the footprints you and your dog make after your early-morning romp through the yard remain visible all day long.
- I used to complain that there was never a free, uncluttered horizontal surface in my house. But I was mistaken. I have discovered dog hair on horizontal surfaces that had previously gone completely unnoticed by me.
- We are all getting a little more protein in our diets as well, because no matter how hard I try—every once in a while a Mariah hair just seems to make it onto somebody’s dinner plate.
- Dogs, unlike children, know how to acknowledge a speaker when they are spoken to. It is so refreshing to have someone hang on my every word and come when I call—especially if I am calling from the kitchen where there are dishes to be washed.
- Dogs are a little like toddlers. If you are the person who feeds them, walks them, gives them medicine and cleans up after them, they will occasionally follow you into the bathroom. Sometimes you will need to shut the door behind you, and you will hear crying and whimpering from the other side.
- It is wonderful to be greeted by an excited, smiling, paw tapping, tail wagging friend when you come home from a hard day’s work and long commute. Doggies really are our unconditional friends.