Dogs I have loved:
I was four. He lived at the farm (when my Grandma still lived there, not us) and occasionally would tolerate us attempting to ride him like an old horse. He seemed enormous to me, and kind of gruff and stately.
The border collie who grew up with me. I barely remember her as a puppy, as I was one too. One year Dad brought her home to our house (from the farm) on our birthday as a treat. She was temporarily tied up to the swings and I gave her birthday cake. It was a highlight.
The pincer sharp milk teeth of a little kelpie pup. He was like a teenager his whole life. Nell tried to teach him how to round up the cows for milking but he was always skiving off. He was the dog who sat next to me out the back of the hill when I tried out smoking (*cough*) and whose kennel was an old tank that Dad had Macgyver-ed with a door cut out, lined with sacks. I always thought that kennel was a bit genius.
The last farm dog before Dad retired from dairying. Funny old fat thing she was. "Taught" the ropes by the terminally juvenile Spike and therefore a bit hopeless. Blue Heeler. Loved the quad bike with a passion equalled only with her passion for barking at the cat. And rabbits. And shadows. And a leaf blowing across the driveway at midnight. And two a.m. And four a.m.
My dog. My own dog. Alaskan malamute cross Shepherd. Enormous. Untrained. I loved her so dearly and was just out of uni, ready to look after my own dog at my own house. Except I lived in Sydney and Kiska needed a lot more room than my Newtown backyard. And more running that I could give her. And a firm hand, which I did not have. And I hadn't figured out how to travel the world with her.
The hardest decision of my life was to give her away. A family friend wanted a big, fully grown dog, I was lucky. She went to a family with children and a big backyard and they adored her and took her to obedience classes immediately.
I gave her away just the year before I met Adam, which was fifteen years ago. I thought I'd never ever get another dog. You know how they might break your heart. You know how much time they take up. And for me, I kind of failed Kiska. I needed to commit to training a dog, not just loving it.
We have two puppies arriving on Friday, from the RSPCA.
To say the excitement is high is understating it.
And that's just the kids.
Are you a dog person? I love dog people.