I have been spending the last few weeks sleeping in my childhood bed, organizing, baking (oh how I missed an oven and a stove), catching up with old friends, reorganizing everything again, and reading so much I forget what time it is.
It’s good to be home.
Another thing about coming home, besides the automatic cleanliness and good food, is that I get to see my dogs again. I wouldn’t want to keep all their joy and shedding to myself, so I figured that finally, I am going to introduce my dogs to the Internet.
The first thing you should know about my dogs is that they are the biggest suck-ups, especially when you have food in your hand. They will follow you for hours, even after the slice of toast you were carrying around is long gone. But their puppy-dog eyes and persistence is tough to resist, and they will more than likely receive the entire loaf in exchange for their love.
Yes, I admit it. I bribe my dogs to love me with the use of food.
And I have to admit something else. I have a favorite dog out of the four. My baby, Cooper, is a white golden retriever, and never quite grew into his full size. He’s much better that way, because he’s the perfect size for any bed. He also has abounding energy, which makes him to ideal dog for morning runs and after-dinner walks.
I also understand how impactful therapy dogs can be, because I truly believe these animals have a sense of emotion, and can easily pick up on human feeling as well. I recently went through a sad/anxious state of mind, and during a particular blue moment, I heard a scratch on my door. I typically don’t like the big dogs to come into my bedroom, due to the amount of dog hair I’ve pulled out of my mouth, my makeup, and my sweaters, so they’ve been trained to avoid the often-shut door.
But Cooper could feel that something wasn’t right in the room, and I opened the door a crack and he came flooding in like a white-streak with wagging tail. He didn’t shed, didn’t jump onto the bed, didn’t move from my side until I recovered, and then he left the room as if nothing had happened.
Cooper is the best therapist I’ve ever had, and he gets every food scrap I can find in thanks for his services.
Our other dogs, two other golden retrievers, Rosie and Bear, and an excessively overweight Maltese named Ellie, make up the clan of Rheinheimer pets at the moment. Maybe when my youngest brother moves out and my parents feel a midlife crisis craving, we’ll get a few more puppies to lift spirits and fill the clean carpet with dog hair, but until then, we’re doing just fine.