They have all had different personalities with innumerable peculiarities and I have loved them all equally. I have mourned their losses terribly and gone out and fallen in love again with another precious bundle of unconditional love – which is probably the point really. Unconditional love is priceless. You can put up with almost any doggy personality when unconditional love is on offer all day every day. I am probably prepared to put up with more doggy quirks than I would tolerate in any human being – related or otherwise – or so my loving and long-suffering husband has told me on more than one occasion. In his defence I do have more photos on my iPhone of my dogs than I do of him.
My latest furry personalities are two Bichons named Ruby and Angus. From the same litter, they have been together all of their eight years but are as different as chalk and cheese.
Angus likes to think he is a little bigger than he actually is and has often suffered the consequences of his short-dog shortcomings when confronted by larger and sometimes lucky for him, slightly more tolerant counterparts. At best he has gotten off lightly as he is sniffed and swatted out of the way. At worst he cost me well over $500 in vet bills for stitches and antibiotics when he got out of the yard and decided that a large bull-terrier cross tyrannosaurus rex was fair game. Lucky for him his short legs got him as far as our front gate and under my legs before he became a snappy happy meal.
Still, that hasn’t stopped him from constantly testing the limits of our four-foot front gate as he blazes a trail from left to right and back again when supposed interlopers get too close to his patch. I wonder where he gets it from as his sister, Ruby, is placid and gets tired just watching him. The only time I have seen her blaze any kind of trail is at the mention of food and the sound of a packet of crisps opening in another part of the house.
Ruby wrote the book on not sweating the small stuff. I find myself watching her at times just to make sure her chest is still moving. She knows she is on a good thing in Dogueville and she isn’t going anywhere at any great speed anytime in the foreseeable future. Nothing phases her. She can sleep through gale-force winds, a sonic boom and a near-miss lightning strike recently that sent Angus and myself scurrying under the nearest bed together. Braveheart, as he was so named thereafter, wouldn’t come out for hours while Ruby sat by the fridge in hopes of getting his share of the dinner that night.
For all their antics and foibles, I love them dearly and will continue to love them even when they are no longer with me. My dogs are not only my companions, they are my friends. They offer me love and make me laugh. They make me cry when they are gone. I wouldn’t change one moment of it.