Priorities

Ammulett, queen of my heart
Ammulett, queen of my heart

Much to the angst of some family members and friends, dog people have a different set of priorities than the general public. It’s all about the dogs.

Most of us are poor housekeepers, based on the fact that our homes are seldom clean of muddy footprints as it is a waste of time to mop the floor when it is only going to stay shiny for so small amount of time. I clearly remember my sister visiting my home and remarking on how clean the kitchen floor was, adding she ‘has never seen it this spotless!’ I reminder her she was never at my home just fifteen minutes after I mopped and she should note it well because beauty was a fleeting thing.

There are the ever present dust-bunnies bred by dog hair that float throughout the home. Though seldom noticed by the home’s occupants in is quite disturbing to a visitor who wants to sit upon the couch as they calculate just how much of said hair is going to find its way onto their camelhair coat. I like to advise them that it will indeed be a good bit and perhaps they would like to stand, or maybe I could throw a blanket over the chair as a barrier of sorts, but it wouldn't really matter as the kids have left hair everywhere and the whole idea of leaving my house without some dog hair on them is a completely unrealistic.

Windows are dulled by the nosy smudges; toys litter the floor causing those indigenous to the home to acquire an odd high-stepping gait that is also useful to navigate the kitchen while cooking. Sometimes the furniture is covered in sheets and blankets, other home owners have just given up and let the couch go commando. Counters are filled with vitamins and supplements and cookie jars are reserved for dog biscuits.

These are all fairly normal events in the home with dogs. But is the threshold of such antics? A line you just shouldn’t cross?

I lived in the country years back and my parents would visit often to enjoy the natural spaces. On a lovely dark summer night, my dad was coming in from the porch where he liked to commune with the shadows and as he opened the front door he did not see behind him the raccoons eating from the birdfeeder. Unfortunately, my Leonberger girls, Eclipse and her daughter Ammulett, had seen them and as soon as he cracked the door approximately 300 pounds of dog exploded through the opening as if a grenade had exploded, leaving my dad prone upon the porch floor.

Panic ensued as my mind raced wildly at  mental pictures of the dogs running in the woods at night, finding something bad, a leg trap or rabid animal, a porcupine; or not being able to find their way back to me. Lost forever in the woods of northern Minnesota!

I dashed out the door and glanced right. There, on porch floor was my sixty-nine year old father, arms and legs akimbo in a prone display from the ‘blast’, eyes spinning in the dim light of the one porch bulb. So I did what anyone with a well-established set of priorities would do. I ever so gently stepped over him as I raced into the woods, calling for the girls.

They did return of course…my girls, not so much my parents.

After the calm returned to the house, dad wanted to know why I didn’t help him up or even check to see if he was alive.

“Well…you were blinking. I figured that was good. I didn’t know where the girls were.”

Sometimes, as painful as it may be, we have to admit our priorities do not always match mainstream society. But dog people are okay with that.


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