Too many dogs.....well, never. Most people who know me personally, would probably be quick to say I have lost my mind when it comes to my two dachshunds. Have I lost my mind over these two dogs? If I have, well, I hope I never find it. Let me explain.....
My daughter, our youngest child left for college in the fall of 2005. My oldest son, was already long out of the house. How exciting you say?? This was a time that should have been exciting. I can not tell you how many times when my kids were little, I would think about the day Steve and I would have the house to ourselves, do what ever we wanted to do, eat what we wanted to eat, travel the world. Oh, it was going to be grand. WRONG.
Was I excited about my daughters new chapter in her life, of course I was. Was I proud of her taking the leap to leave home and stand on her own two feet, sure. But in reality, I simply was not ready to have the nest empty.
Alisha at the campus of UNT Fall of 2005
The first few months Alisha was gone, I can not explain that deep sadness of our home being without children, even if it was almost adult children who were not here. Now, granted she was just less than 40 miles up the road, living in the dorm with a long time friend, but in my mind she might as well have been on the other side of the globe, all alone. It was just devastating.
Reality had set in. I was trying to come to terms with the fact that "this was all I had left", no children, no schedules to juggle, no one to need me, no one to ask what is for dinner, well....I was a mess. Is this what the empty Nester years are all about, at this point I did not want anything to do with them.
I blamed poor Steve for us not having any more children, I was 43 years old, and was quite sure I was still young enough to throw my ovaries into overdrive and try again for another child. Thankfully, Steve said no, and I'm sure, he was quiet positive I had lost my mind, at least temporarily. He tried to assure me everything would be fine, well, I am here to say, for about 4 months, nothing was fine, life was over, and I blamed everyone for it.
Alisha came home for Christmas break, and all was bliss again, for the moment. I was excited she was home, there was shopping to do, cooking to do, and my life was back to where I had left it only 4 short months ago. Then, reality bit me in the butt again. It was getting time for the spring semester to start,and she would be leaving. Alisha was already getting excited about returning to school, and well, I was not. I think Steve could see what was coming and did not want to go down that road again.
So after Christmas, we went to Canton First Monday Trade Days in January and Steve bought me a little red creme dapple dachshund and that was just the thing my heart needed.
That little dog filled up all the empty holes in my heart and she made the fact that Alisha was leaving again a little less painful. Don't get me wrong, I was still sad Alisha was leaving to go back to school, but this time I had something else to focus on.
A year later, we went back to Canton and purchased Dora "the explorer". Boy has she lived up to her name.
I thought Sophie needed a playmate. And let me tell you, life as we knew it has never been the same. The chaos these two little dogs create is pure joy. It's almost like having two toddlers in the house. Each one has a different personality, both of them demanding our undivided attention, and an occasional scuffle just to keep things real. I am happy to say, I would not want it any other way.
There are days when I really want another puppy to add to my little mix. Steve says "no way". I just smile and say "we'll see"!
It is hard to explain to someone what my dogs mean to me. They are a bright spot in my day. They never complain, they never have a bad day. They don't argue with me or talk back. They are always there to listen to what I have to say...and are happy to hear it. They never judge me, it's not a problem for them if I am over weight, to them that just equates good food! These two little dogs are just a joy.
Nothing can replace your own children, I miss them. They are busy, and that is good. Sophie and Dora try to fill the empty space that was created when my kids life journeys began....so far, they are doing a pretty good job. Steve was right, everything was fine after all. We settled into a routine and things got easier. Sophie and Dora just did their part to make sure that happened.Trust me....These two do not have to beg for anything! They just choose to do so.
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. ~Woodrow Wilson