Sunday, April 17, 2005


One of the things I enjoy most about having three dogs is this: they always have a ready companion, even when I'm unable to pay attention to them.

Take Baxter, for example. Baxter loves companionship. He loves to be with someone (any mammal will do). He loves to hang out with his humans or nestle by their feet, but when his humans are busy and unable to provide the companionship he needs, Elsie is always there.

Baxter and Elsie both love the outdoors. Ridge, ironically, prefers the indoors (most of the time, not always). So when Ridge wants to sleep undisturbed on the family room floor, and Baxter wants to be outside, Elsie happily accompanies him.

Elsie, for another example, loves the kiddie pools. As does Ridge. Baxter, for some reason, is hesitant this season (he loved the water last year). It may still be a bit too cold for him (he has the least flexibility in his joints of all three dogs--I wonder if cold bothers him more). So when Elsie wants a companion in the pool, and Baxter would rather lounge in the warm grass, Ridge happily joins in the wet fray.

Ridge has a lesser need for companionship; he's very happy by himself (indoors or out). I suppose that may have something to do with the other two imps constantly teasing and picking on him. ;o) Or it may be that he's the oldest of the lot. In any case, he's happy to mellow alone.

But when he mellows alone inside, he fulfills my need to have a companion in the house during the day when I'm alone. He, in his own way, makes me feel less alone. :o)

If we had only Ridge and Baxter with us, the dynamic would not have worked. If we had only Ridge and Elsie, the dynamic would not have worked either. If we had only Baxter and Elsie, I'd never have anyone inside to hang with me. Again, the dynamic wouldn't have worked.

See, having three dogs isn't insane (as some of my friends tell me); it's the ideal dynamic. We all get to have the companionship we need.

Well, sort of. The canine kids have their companionship needs met in full. But though they make great company for me, they can't replace my husband's companionship when he's away (he's in Ireland now). I miss Don. They do, too (Ridge isn't eating, Baxter and Elsie keep looking for him). I wish Don were here, but I understand that he can't be. Duty calls. But I miss his companionship nonetheless. At least I know he'll be home soon.

In the meantime, Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge will have to do. I'm glad we have them.

'Til next time,

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