So many dogs

by Andrea Elizabeth

I want to adopt all the dogs and the cats at the animal shelter. The thought of them being stuck there and not adopted in a jail-like cell with the possibility of euthanasia makes me feel that it is urgent. But I have to step back and think what is best for our family and the animals we have already committed ourselves to. Pippin is used to being dominant. Merry is a small dog. The other dogs were all quite a bit bigger. Do I want to transform our house into an adoptive institution? What is the proper way to handle empty nest syndrome?

Back to the dogs. Merry is the first dog on the right at the shelter. They probably put the small dogs in front so that they don’t have to run the gauntlet past the bigger, louder ones. I felt it was wrong to carry her through to the back while I looked at the other dogs. It would have been in their face that I wasn’t picking them. Similarly, I didn’t want to let any of the other dogs out of their pens because that would have been disloyal to her. She needs to feel specially chosen.

I believe the dogs know that they are up for review. Most try to get your attention with their voices and body language saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” One kept his back turned, however. I wonder what his story is. The second runner up to Merry was a bigger version of Benji with a brown, curly haired face and large beagle type body. He seemed really calm and sweet. He kind of looked sad, though, as if he knew I’d already picked someone else.

I don’t believe in having only-children. If that happens, as my youngest will be one pretty soon, then they need to take care of other creatures so that they don’t think that the world revolves solely around them. Similarly, I don’t think retirement is the one-fifth of your life where you finally get what’s coming to you. You need to keep giving till the end.

Same with animals. All a person’s attention doting on one little spoiled pet isn’t the answer. But Merry isn’t spoiled. Pippin’s half spoiled, half neglected. We don’t work with him like we should. I hope to start taking them out on walking trails. That would be good for all of us.

I’ve heard that sharing is the reason there’s a Trinity. Two people can spoil each other, but add a third and you’re forced to be unselfish.

I don’t know how many dogs we have room for. I know we only have room for one cat’s litter box contributions, however.