Friday, February 13, 2009

A vacation with my dog

One Dog?
I have four dogs in my family, but I escaped from it all with Tux, my sheltie, and spent a few days in Malibu visiting my good friend Lynn, who is there from Seattle visiting her brother. 

What an experience. Three days with one dog. He rode by my side in the car, slept on my bed, and was at my side every minute as we relaxed, hiked and watched Westminster on TV. 

These things don't happen at my house. Tux is one of the gang, and they all sleep in the living room at night. I reserve the bedroom for my cats, Sterling and Whisper, who stay in the back part of the house when I have pet-sitting dogs here. Bedtime is the only time my kitties get my attention, and I have guarded that privilege for them. 

Lynn is the sheltie rep for Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, and she was having severe "sheltie withdrawal," so she wanted Tux to come with me! We both spoiled him rotten and he was a perfect gentleman. And I discovered the joys of having only one dog. I have said many times I'm going to get down to just two dogs, through attrition. Now I know why. It's not just the money, or the work, it's the fact that a dog thrives on the attention, and is a much better pet. 

With my gang here, Lily and Bonnie are always around, but don't get the walks, the cuddling, the training and love they deserve. Rescued from a puppy mill at age 6, they came to me full of milk from recent litters, and horribly underweight. They've adjusted pretty well, but I sometimes wonder if they would have done even better if they were my only dogs. They are now 10 years old, maybe older. 

Desi the dachshund spends every evening on my lap, and is always snuggled nearby in a dog bed when I am working. He and Tux get occasional walks and outings to the park, which they both love. 

Desi has never been reliably housetrained, so letting him loose in a 6,000 square foot home with white carpeting wasn't an option. He stayed home from this trip. 

Besides a wonderful, relaxing getaway, the trip gave me the chance to pause and reflect on the joys of NOT adopting yet another dog. 

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