I was a dog person before I met Jessica. Well, in a sense. I say ‘in a sense’ because when I compare my life and its relationship with animals to Jessica’s life with animals, mine is incredibly tame. And by tame, I undoubtedly mean that Jessica and her family would classify me as an ‘animal abuser.’ But, allow me to explain.
When we met, she had a horse, a rabbit, two dogs, and lived with a bird. And she did say, on more than a few occasions during our initial ‘dating’ period, that she wished to be a horse. She even did the whole neigh sound and mimicked the gallop in a quick semi-circle around me. I told her that I loved dogs, and I suspect, in retrospect, that I was exaggerating. Perchance I even fabricated a story or two about time spent volunteering at the animal shelter, or saving the neighbor’s pot belly pig from drowning one wet winter season.
I learned quickly that the Dobson family was one that didn’t abide by–or agree with–the concept of ‘outside pet.’ Although, I must say, I was relieved that they didn’t go so far as agreeing to the concept of ‘indoor horse.’ When I was growing up, we had dogs. Well, we had a dog, and then we had another dog. His name was Montana, and he was a Golden Retriever. A wonderful dog. But he was an ‘outdoor dog.’ My brothers and I played with him in the big yard out front; we took him on hikes down to the creek; we wrestled with him; on occasions he would be allowed inside to hang out while we watched a movie, or played Monopoly. But he slept outside in his Dogloo (awesome, by the way).
In the Dobson house, the dogs slept inside, they meandered around the dinner table and were (cover your ears, Mom) allowed up on the couch. This was all foreign to me. And has taken some time getting used to. But in the end, it hasn’t been so bad. Sure, my allergies go a bit haywire at times, and despite my body’s aversion to dander, I’ve grown quite fond of their constant presence.
Jessica, like her mom and dad and sisters, is an animal lover. I’m glad of it. I like that Scooby sleeps near the bed, and that he can wake me up with a cold, wet nose to my back. I like that we have horses (yes, we have two now) and that I can pretend to be The Man From Snowy River. I like that mom and pop Dobson are near, and their penchant for picking up strays is as strong as it ever was. I like that we rent a space that gives us the opportunity to care for dogs when the owner is away.
I love that I met Jessica. The true 4-h babe. The galloping (critter bug) Mustang, or Percheron.