Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rural Route Today January Column (Many Too Many)

This morning I woke up sick and tired. As I made my way to the kitchen I was tripped, clawed, and tugged on by all three of my dogs. They are neatly ordered in size as small, medium, and large. The large one being Great Dane size and the small one being a cast off from a designer dog puppy mill. All rescue dogs with personality to spare. When we moved to property I had my heart set on having five dogs. This morning as I walked dragging my Yorkie from my pajama pant leg I mumbled to myself “Three dogs is too many”. Between the dogs and the two indoor cats, the floor around here seems to move under my feet. Couple that with tumble weed size clumps of hair and it’s a recipe for disaster.

As the effects of my latte graciously began to kick in I found myself smirking at the energy they all had. The little one vying for his share of attention; the big one with old sweet eyes as if saying “Lets you and I run away together and leave this chaos behind”; the medium one suffering the classic middle child syndrome, doing puppy tricks just trying to be noticed and different.

They all came into our lives under different circumstances. The big one looked much smaller at the shelter against the backdrop of Mount Mansfield, the medium sized one’s face was hard to turn down on craigslist and “Little Man”, as he is affectionately known, was a bonus I picked up when I went to get barn cats.

I couldn’t explain to them this morning that I was under the weather, nor would it change their agenda. In fact, knowing I wasn’t feeling well would only strengthen their mission. It would validate their need to heap their wet, sharp, vigorous love on me ten-fold. They share this love with our entire family. They provide protection, comfort to our children, and an uncomplicated sense of pleasure. How can there be too much of that?

It isn’t that I wouldn’t enjoy a cleaner house or less commotion, but those at the cost of less unconditional love hardly seems a fair trade. So while I nurse the fat lip I sustained from the nails of the smallest pup even while writing this column, I take immeasurable joy in watching them now wrestle and play with eachother.

Too many? Well maybe. But I have many “too many’s” and this is one I cherish.

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