Pooch and I were strolling slowly this morning in what reminded me of our Seattle days - mist; not enough to get wet but enough to warrant a hat to keep my glasses dry. We were one house down when he decided to do his first paws up of the morning.(In winter we call it snow angeling.) As he was rolling about with great abandon I watched the two neighbor dogs watching us.
When they first moved in they had a beautiful Boxer pup that was on the show circuit. They pulled her after they found their handler was handling them. She and Bacchus used to love roaring up and down the fence line. It was quite a site. A rather graceful and agile Boxer and a Saint Bernard. No contest but I must say my boy held his own.
One day an old Husky showed up. He wasn't too keen on Bacchus at first but he warmed. He watched rather than participate. I empathize with the old fellow these days. Then the people of the house put in a pool. And fenced it. Good move. Then they fenced a distant corner of the yard with maybe three scraggly pine trees, built a hay bale shelter and enclosed the dogs. I haven't seen them out since.
Bacchus has long since stopped looking for his pals. But they watch us every morning. In the heat of the summer, in the rain - and soon - the snow. They aren't chained and they are fed but I've never seen them out playing with their people. They're never walked. I wonder if they've ever been groomed or hugged.
Then I think of pooch and our relationship. It's why we have him. It's his presence in the house with us. It's his warmth as he smothers my lap to watch TV with me. It's his kissing me goodnight before flopping beside me for the night and his "time to get with it Mom" good morning kiss if I linger too long getting up. It's his following me with my coffee to the den to get his eyes and ears rubbed. We call this routine the burrowing Bernard.
This is why we have a dog. He's part of the family. He's part of what makes home home. I wouldn't have it any other way. Why would anyone else?