The Return of the Dog People

Before we had children we were dog people.

You know, those people who buy expensive toys for dogs, who take their dogs everywhere, who have pictures of dogs on their desk. Those kind of dog people.

Then for the first few years of being parents, the dogs faded in priority. Suddenly they were just, well, dogs. I missed the time I had with the four-legged friends I'd referred to more than once as "my training children."

Ha! That goes to show I had no clue.

I just couldn't find time between diaper changes and soccer practice to give them any where near the attention I used to just a few years earlier.

But I've made it up to them. Our German shepherd and beagle – Aussie mix now have far more fun with my daughters than they ever had with me.

Our girls have both become dog people. They have taken the leash from our hands and run off with the dogs to places I never imagined.

They have taught them tricks I never thought of, a half dozen of which involve the trampoline.
They have discovered the joy of the doggie vacuum, bringing in the dogs for clean up duty when the goldfish crackers get "accidentally" knocked over.

They have become regular hostesses of previously forbidden left overs lunch party, where many a rejected food item is snuck outside while I "wasn't looking" (often because I was told "Mommy! Don't look!").

They have loved on these dogs, full body hugs, even when it seems clear to me that both dogs have had a skunk visiting during the night.

They have taught both dogs to find the ball when it's buried in the playground, tossed into the pretend grocery cart, and stuck in a tree. Did you know a beagle/aussie (known as a Bossy around here) can, when properly motivated, climb a live oak?

They have taught the dogs to wear feather boas gracefully and tolerate a change of fur color when the poster paints are brought out for "rainbow dog day."

And most of all, they've taught me just how fun it can be to have a couple of dogs in the family again. Even if they smell like skunk.