Almost a year ago we adopted two dogs whose owners at the time wanted them kept together if at all possible. That’s Bear in the foreground and you can see his age is showing – he’s 12. Bear is a fitting name too – he stands nearly as tall as our dining room table and can clear the top of the coffee table with a mere swipe of his tail. And his tail is always wagging! He’s a sweetie, and so firmly lodged in my heart I wouldn’t give him back if they paid me. The only downside is that his bark is strangely unnerving. It doesn’t seem to affect my husband, but when Bear is excited about playing tug of war (or for umpteen other reasons) he barks – loudly and often – and the feeling or sound or whatever is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard to me! Bear always wants to be as close as possible to us and the above photo captures his favorite car-riding posture.
You can see Kohl up there behind Bear, resting his chin on Bear’s hips. They’re both fairly large dogs, so sharing the back seat can be challenging. Kohl is slightly smaller than Bear and his limbs are more delicately shaped. He’s the more sensitive of the two – taking a scolding more seriously than Bear, who shrugs it off when we’re correcting him. Yes, dogs can too shrug! Kohl is about 8 years old but still has the energy of a puppy and wants to play ALL. THE. EFFING. TIME! He’s also our first responder – letting us know whenever there’s even a hint of company arriving. Every night when I shut the car door after parking I can hear him going off inside. Here’s a better photo of Kohl, practicing his yoga:
There are moments I think we did them a disservice by adopting them. At their original home, they were in a fenced yard all day while their family was at work. They could run around as much or as little as they wanted. The two of us are on either side of 60 and we just aren’t as active as the boys need us to be. Also, we live in a senior mobile home community which claims to be “pet-friendly” but frowns on walking dogs within the park! So their outdoor activities are somewhat limited. We can walk them around our little yard and we take trips to the park down the street for a quick walk. There’s also the occasional visit to the leash-free park when the weather and the husband’s frame of mind are sunny. As a result they’ve put on some weight and aren’t looking as sleek as they used to be.
When I have those moments of wondering whether we made the right decision, they look into my eyes and Kohl smiles his doggy smile, snatching a Wubba toy out of the air before his brother can grab it. Then I’ll hear the rain pouring outside and remember they’d be out in their yard (at least on a workday) in that weather if we hadn’t adopted them. They had a shelter from the rain of course, but I like to think they’re very happy being inside during the worst of the weather – they’re never reluctant to come indoors at least.
They became part of us the moment they arrived, an essential, beloved part of us. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.