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Living with Dogs

by Mavis Metcalf, guest writer.

I’ve almost always had at least one dog in my life. Sometimes its been two dogs & on occasions (like now) three dogs.

I didn’t plan on having three dogs. Dakota, the oldest now at 7 years, came to me when she was about 1 ˝ years old and needed a new home as her owner’s marriage was breaking up. They also told me that they hadn’t planned on getting a large dog when they got Dakota, but she was just so cute when they found her as a puppy at a rescue that they took her.

Last summer, a friend’s beautiful Great Pyranees, Sheba gave birth to a litter of puppies after an unplanned (by the owners) trip into the woods with a neighbourhood acquaintance. The puppies were all adorable, but my daughter & I picked one out right from the start & asked if we could have her. Seven weeks later, Lexi arrived at our home.

That was all the dogs we were going to have – no plans for another. But one day a couple of months later, I saw an ad for an Irish Setter that needed to be rescued. An Irish Setter named Red had been one of my first loves and he had been with me for 16 years. When I wrote to the organization, I even told them that I probably was out of my mind for considering another dog at this time, but Irish Setters are not common in my area & I had just seen one a couple of weeks earlier. I found that I was often thinking about that dog and the timing for this ad just seemed to mean that it was meant to be.

The next thing I knew, Chester the Irish Setter had moved into the house. This gave us a 6 year old Spring Spaniel cross, a 5 month old Great Pryanese cross and a 7 month old Irish Setter.

One of the first things you notice with 3 dogs is how much faster the money disappears. A large bag of food doesn’t last as long as it used to – annual vaccinations make a person cringe when they give you the total owing – gotta get a new fence, because the pups are bouncing off the old one & knocking it down, etc. Of course, both Lexi & Chester had to be spayed and neutered right away and that isn’t a small expenditure either.

There isn’t much grass in the yard any more and you have to be careful to not fall into one of the many holes. The neighbours shake their heads when they talk about all the dogs in the yard (luckily I have a large yard that is now fully surrounded by a 6 foot fence).

But the love from 3 dogs greeting you at the door when you come home from work with wagging tails & kisses makes it all worthwhile and I can’t imagine life any other way.

I thought it would be nice to have a picture of myself & my 3 dogs to end this article, so I took my camera & tripod out into the yard. I set it up in front of a little pine tree, set the delay button & called the dogs as I went to the spot I had picked out. Here is the series of pictures I took.


In the first two pictures we’re all here, but I’m the only one facing the camera.

In the next picture, Chester is missing & Lexi is sneaking up behind.
Then, I forgot to push the delay button & only Dakota is in it.


Then Dakota was ready & suddenly realized that the others were playing just out of sight.
Now, we’re finally all back in the picture, but Lexi decides to roll onto her back.


Now Chester is gone again & Dakota figures its time to roll over.
Finally, they all say “thats enough” and with a wave of the tails – they’re off!

Maybe we’ll try again another day.

Lets hear from some of you dog lovers in the forum.
How many dogs do you have? What are their names?
at are the good things – or the bad things about having a dog?

Mavis Metcalf is the editor of the Birds Site at Bella Online.


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