Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm More Like My Dogs Than I Realized ...

When I talk about my dogs, two words seem to come up the most: sweet and annoying.  My dogs are annoying (my golden retriever in particular), but I love them dearly and wouldn't change anything about them.

Which is probably a good thing since I had an epiphany a few minutes ago that made me realize that my dogs and I have a great deal in common (and, yeah, "sweet" and "annoying" probably do fit in there).

We're staying at the beach house right now, which probably requires some explanation.

My grandfather was a passionate golfer, and the story goes that he bought the beach house for my grandmother, whose passion was the beach, so that he could play golf without feeling guilty.  Or something like that.

The generosity of my grandfather allowed us to grow up on the beach, spending summer days in the ocean and afternoons and evenings playing cards on the screened-in porch.  Good times ...

Since my grandfather passed away, my mother and uncles have divided the summer up into thirds and each one "gets" the beach house during their time.  Anyway, my mother got the last third this year, so here we are.

When the girls and I went to live at my mother's house following the start of the divorce saga, we brought our black lab, Sonja, to live with my mother and the previously mentioned Mollie.   The dogs are really tight, believe it or not, and spread sweetness wherever they go.

And annoyance.

They do not do well at the beach house.  They bark.  They whine.  They jump at shadows, including every time a wave crashes.  They are, quite simply, not very happy.  And because we have an electric fence at home, they're used to running free, so having a much smaller living space--and a tiny dog pen with which to do their business--is tough for them.

Historically, I've spent the night at the other house (it's less than ten minutes away) with the dogs while my mother stays at the beach house with Addie and Belle.

Just before we moved down here, Sonja's electric fence collar broke (fortunately she went into the neighbor's backyard instead of the road), so I had to walk her on a leash so she could do her thing.  My mother sent her collar off to get fixed, but this just happened to coincide with me being gone for three days to an education conference.

My mother, a much braver woman than I, decided to have the dogs stay at the beach house while I was gone, and I guess they weren't terrible.

She's gone up north for the weekend for the 50th wedding anniversary of her friends, so after I got Sonja's repaired collar back in the mail yesterday, I was planning on bringing the dogs back to the house posthaste.

Except that the girls (my daughters, not my dogs) really wanted to stay down here, and I'm not comfortable leaving them alone.

So I caved, and I think I've apologized to over fifty people since the dogs woke up ready to face the day at six this morning.

Simply put, they don't like change.  They're used to having acres to run around in when a door is opened.  Our house is on a busy road in terms of cars, but very quiet in terms of people.    They're not used to hordes of people walking by right in front of them at all times.

When I went to make coffee this morning, I found the coffee maker beyond my skill.  It's different than the one at home, and I ended up making the worst coffee ever.

Then I went to put Splenda in my pathetic coffee, and we didn't have any, so I had to use sugar.

Last night, I had the urge to watch NCIS, but Addie had already claimed the television to watch some show called Say Yes to the Dress.  At home, we have multiple televisions; here, there's only one.

I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining, because I adore being down here more than I can express with words.

No, the point I'm trying to make is that it hit me like a ton of bricks that the very thing annoying me about my dogs (their reluctance to change) is also true of me.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere, but I can't seem to make it any clearer through writing ... you see, I haven't had any coffee this morning ;-)

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