There are mornings when the inspiration for this writing project is found by looking around the room. And the one thing that is pretty much always in the room is a black miniature poodle who has been a part of our family for almost exactly five years now.
We had always wanted a dog and had had the usual array of dog-replacement-pets as our children grew up, fighting off what had always felt inevitable. Eventually one of the offspring put some real effort into the advocacy for a dog in the household. One of my demands was that he research what was needed and what type of dog would suit us.
He was very good at this research. There were questionnaires and numerous internet searches. He demanded that my husband and I compromise on the size of the dog – I wanted a large dog, he wanted a small dog. We went small. Eventually offspring presented us with a short list of perfect breeds. Miniature poodle was at the top of that list and with a bit more research the adults discovered a breed that is highly intelligent, relatively easy to train and with tons of personality. We have not been disappointed.
All that aside, no one can put on a spreadsheet the sheer fun of having a companion who is delighted when we come home – we are greeting by canine singing and presents of shoes or dog toys. Who is happiest when snuggled up on a chair or sofa or bed with one of his humans. Who loves walking in the rain – or any weather except snow – so gets us out of the house every day.
It’s the feeling that you’re never alone that is very precious. He doesn’t need explanations or justifications, just companionship and love, which is a precious lesson on how to live with someone.