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As I type this my feet are resting comfortably on the side of my massive chocolate lab. Usually I don’t give him much thought except to rue the day we decided to make him a permanent family member thereby ruining any chance we would ever have of a quick family get away. Next to my gently snoring lab lies our newly acquired french bulldog, Molly. When I read the extensive literature and did in-depth research on her breed by visiting households with Frenchies I was assured of their calm temperament and uncanny ability to adjust to family life. I got the only stubborn, hyperactive and terribly loud french bulldog in existence. She suffers from horrific flatulence and snores like a buzzsaw gone awry. Lessons learned.
Over the years I’ve had various types of relationships with dogs. Lady was a long-term friendship (22 years) and Flappy was a short-lived dalliance (2 weeks until he broke free and made for the hills). Petey lasted two years until someone stole him right in front of our house, and Rheingold was a battle hardened defender that made his way between our relatives houses and ours for twenty years watching intently for intruders before old age came knocking.
I don’t mind the tumbleweeds of doggie hair that blow through my house on windy days or the scratch marks etched deeply in my twice refinished hardwoods but the responsibility of two extra lives sometimes weighs heavy on our household. When you think you don’t have an ounce of extra energy to take one more step after feeding, dressing and paying attention to three kids suddenly you are confronted with two panting attention seeking canines who need your help. It can get overwhelming.
Luckily for me, my husband takes the brunt of the poop cleaning, feeding and care of our puppies but I do occasionally get in the game with a walk and I’m big on doling out the ear scratches and tummy rubs. Some days, they drive us nuts others we get on just fine.