I’m not a dog person. There, I said it. It’s a hard thing to admit (I think it automatically lumps me in with murderers and child molesters) and it surprises a lot of people. I am, after all, seen twice a day, almost every day, walking two very large dogs that belong to me.
But I’m also the mother of three boys and in my husband’s world, boys need a dog. Boudreaux came into our family 12 years ago. When he came home he was a soft little pile of white cashmere and he made three young boys very happy. When my sons still lived at home he would go to bed with the youngest and then move from room to room as each older brother went to bed, usually ending up my oldest son’s room for the duration of the night. He loved sleeping with them and despite all the hair that ended up in their beds, they loved sleeping with him.
I suspect he heard a lot of secrets over the years. I know he got a lot of hugs and I believe he probably provided a soft back to cry on when the need arose. He was the kind of companion every boy needs, one who was always happy to see them, who was a constant companion and who had unbounded energy for running, playing and wrestling.
He’s an old man now who spends most of his time sleeping and groaning but when one of his “boys” is home visiting he still manages to make that painful trek up the stairs to their rooms.
Xavier, our black Lab, joined us a few years ago. He is a beautiful, well-behaved soul who never barks because Boudreaux barks for him. Xav would patiently wait outside the door for hours and hours until someone remembered to bring him in were it not for Boudreaux, who always “tells” us he’s out there.
Which brings me to the door. Our dogs are always on the wrong side of it. When they’re inside they’re convinced that the wonders of the world await them on the other side. When they’re on the other side they’re convinced that true nirvana lies inside the house.
Every night 8 0’clock is the magic hour. They start to stir, they begin to pace, they start anxiously looking my way. They know it’s almost time to go on the other side of that door for the last time before bed. They know that after one last potty break they get their nightly treat. The practically trip over each other to get out the door. And then they look back over their shoulders to see if I’m watching. Because their focus isn’t on peeing, it’s on that treat. I have to tell them to go all the way off the porch and every night I can see in their eyes as they reluctantly slink down the steps….”darn, we don’t get those coveted treats until we pee. You’d thing just this once she’s just give them to us without asking for something in return.”
Every night these are the pitiful faces I see on the other side of the door. An old soul and a much younger one with a muzzle that’s just beginning to show signs of age. Two pairs of imploring eyes and two tails that wag in anticipation. Two big messes of shedding hair that are as much a part of this family as anyone without tails that wag. Two guys who just want their treats.
Did I mention that I’m not a dog person? Really…I’m not….