Loving your space isn’t just about things or the structure where you reside. The most important part of your space is who you bring into it. If I knew no one and had no one in my life I’d probably just live in a small apartment because they are so much less work. I have a bigger space because I like bringing people and animals into my space. I like to surround myself with those who matter to me, who care about me, and who need me.
I’ll stick with the furry members of my family as they care less about privacy. And I told them I’d give them a treat.
I’ve lived with greyhounds for over 15 years now. They are the breed for me. When greyhounds come off the track or out of the kennels, they lack a lot of social skills and it can be very traumatic for them to transition from kennel to home. Most adoption groups have volunteers who bring the greyhounds into their homes while they are waiting to be adopted. They learn how to live in a house and the foster family learn about the temperament of the dog which helps find perfect adoption fits.
Frankie was my Mom’s foster. He never raced because he had an eye condition that reduced his vision. When he came to her he was in pain (because of his bad eye) and was terrified of the change from a dog kennel environment. He wouldn’t even leave his crate to relieve himself. When Mom got a call from the adoption group telling her that Frankie’s sister was just released to the adoption group, Mom jumped at having her reunited with Frankie. The minute he saw Daisy he changed and began to play and explore his new surroundings. That was when Mom called me to tell me I was getting two new dogs.
Frankie and Daisy came to live with me four years ago. The minute he came into my house he decided he was staying and adopted me. We lost Daisy suddenly to cancer about a year and a half ago but because Frankie is secure in his home and me, he is OK and is still as sassy and silly as ever. He is an absolute love bug and if you are visiting you are in danger of getting one of his awkward greyhound hugs where he plants all 75 lbs of himself across your lap.
Three years ago I was driving home for Christmas and stopped at one of those giant truck stops where there is nothing around for miles. Standing in the Wendy’s takeout was this little beagle mix. Because there are tons of cars driving around in close quarters, I knew he was going to get hit by a car if I didn’t grab him fast. Luckily he let me pick him up. I looked around to see the car he had wandered away from but no one was around. I went into the truck stop and asked them to make an announcement over the loud-speaker but no one stepped forward. Thirty minutes later I finally left having to admit that the poor little guy had been ditched there. He was terrified and huddled on the front seat of the car. Now, he is a confident, loving, cuddly boy who will get up into your lap and rest his little head against your chest for loves. He is the sweetest boy that looks out for others. When we’ve had older dogs that weren’t able to always get up from a down position, he’ll come get one of us to help them.
Scarlet is the new kid on the block. When I lost my kitty a few years ago I knew it wouldn’t be long before we needed to have feline representation in the house. You just need a cat to keep everyone in line. Scarlet had been at the shelter for 7 months. I can’t think of any reason why she would have been passed up for so long since she is gorgeous, sweet, funny, and playful. She is also my biggest helper on DIY projects; usually offering her biting skills no matter what I’m doing. She is so much fun to live with and we’ll be coming up on her one-year anniversary this October. Yes, I adopted a black cat around Halloween. Best. Kitty. Ever.
I have an extended doggy family in the animals that live with family members. We actually have a strategy where we exchange the dogs now and then so every dog feels perfectly at home in the different houses with each of us. This way, any babysitting or owner transfer that might happen, is not traumatic to them. My Mom’s dogs feel as at-home in my house with me as they do in Mom’s house and vice versa.
Godiva absolutely lives up to her name. She is the most diva of dogs as well as cuddly and bossy. She can sulk like a 16-year-old girl but will also get so excited she yodels. She is a terrible bed hog and has no compunction about taking what she wants from the other dogs. “That toy? Mine. That food? Mine.” La diva charms everyone though. One good cuddle in your lap and you won’t be able to tell her no.
Striker came to live with us just in the last year. He is a sweet, senior boy that loves to be cuddled and hugged. There really may not be a sweeter, cuter boy than Striker.
Sammy could not be more different from the greyhounds. He is practically a different species. He may be the odd man out but happy about everything and everyone. You could not get a more delighted little guy.
We are a family of animal lovers. Our lives, and spaces, are better for having them. They make me laugh, they always think I’m wonderful, they love helping me with DIY projects, and at the end of a lousy day, their cuddle makes it all better.
I’ll leave you with this image of Frankie in his own space he loves. With the loaf of French bread he stole and guarded on that bed for the whole day. He couldn’t figure out what to do with it but he didn’t want anyone else getting it. Hours later he was finally distracted and Godiva stole it. She, at least, knew to eat it.