I love this photo. My new pal Donna Manz took it for the Vienna (VA) Connection. You can read the entire article here.
That's Vicky, on the left. You can't see her harness, but of course, it is pink. She's a girly-girl of a dog. We "adopted" Victoria in England, so she's a British Bichon and a little smaller than the American breed. Since her father was an English champion, Vicky is a bit of a princess. Sarah, one of the adorable little girls who lives down the street, told me (with a look of total sincerity on her face), "When I die, if I come back, I want to come back as Victoria."
Sarah also said, "I'm not sure if Vicky's very smart or not."
I said, "Oh, she's plenty smart. Let me ask you, does Vicky get you to do exactly what she wants?"
"Hmm. You're right!" said Sarah.
Believe me, Vicky knows her loyal subjects. She only does what she wants, when she wants.
And that's Rafferty on the right with the blue harness. He's a Bichon-Poodle mix. Would you call that a Bi-Poo? (You might if you knew Raffi!) He's only got three legs, but golly, he certainly makes the most of all three. He can jump up on furniture, a trick Vicky only recently mastered. (Actually, I think she was simply accustomed to having us, her humble servants, lift Her Majesty.)
They're my posse. When I'm hard at work writing, they keep me company by sitting in my office. Raffi whines unless I get him his own cushion because Vicky does NOT like to share. At night, Raffi jumps from sofa to chair to my lap. He doesn't know he's too big to be a lap dog!
Yeah, it's a bit of a hassle to plan for letting them out or getting dog sitters, but you know, I'd be so very, very lonely all day without them. When they're at the groomers, I feel a bit lost.
David and I were talking the other day about traveling, and we decided that we want to go places where we can bring the dogs along, too. It's just hard on all of us to leave them in a kennel or with sitters.
I realize that a lot of folks decide that once their children leave the nest, it's best not to be encumbered by a pet. But, our dogs own our hearts. They've made our new house a home. They're my posse, my small, furry personal herd of friends.
So if we have to open a wallets a bit more frequently, if we have to work a little harder at planning our lives, and if we have to glance at our watches and race home to let them out...it's really such a small price to pay for all the love we get in return.