I went to the veterinarian today. Again. It was the second visit in two days. I was also there last week. Two separate times. That may seem like an unusual number of vet visits, but for someone with four dogs it’s pretty average. Especially when three of them are canine senior citizens and are on various types of medication that always need to be refilled.
Four wasn’t exactly the number my husband and I were going for. Neither was five, but we had five dogs for several years anyway. Somehow these strays kept finding us. In the parking lot at work. In our driveway. Along the side of the road. In the candy aisle at 7-Eleven. That was our “sweet” Gus.
Our four mixed-breed dogs are each unique in their own ways with their distinct personalities and quirky traits. Buster is a big lovable black and white coonhound-lab that can pick up a scent like, well, a coonhound. Gus is a tall tri-colored short-haired mix with an angelic disposition and a few nervous tics. Hobbit, our one-eyed corgi-basset hound, loves to sleep, eat and chase the big red ball in our backyard. Then there’s Abby, our little spitfire, a three-year-old 18-pound schnauzer-poodle who attempts to keep the boys in line. It’s their idiosyncrasies that make them each so lovable. Along with the fact that they are always happy to be with us whether it’s taking a walk or just hanging around the house. Dogs just have the ability to make you feel good.
Yes, they (Abby) bark loudly sometimes (too often). They (Buster) get sick, require emergency surgery and a week-long stay in ICU. (A scary and worrisome time.) They (Gus) shed sometimes (all the time). They (Hobbit) will even have the occasional (frequent) “accident” in the house. But the joy, smiles and laughter these four sweet souls bring us everyday far outweigh the trials, struggles and petty annoyances. There’s something special about rescued dogs and cats. These animals seem to know they’ve been given another chance in life and the love they give you in return is heart-melting.