"Tessa! Call your dogs. They are fighting again." ("They are chewing my Barbie-doll. I can't play my play station. They sit on the sofa and there is no place for me". You pick but it is never the same with them). I hear that hundred times a day. "TJ, Tanner" – I yell, and two big, stinky, sloppy, messy and hairy dogs rush into the kitchen. They poke their wet noses between my knees and compete for who will be rubbed first. Technically, they are not my dogs. They are the dogs of the family I live with. I am the part of their lives; I am taking care of them. They - are my world and I love them.
I have always been a dog person. Ever since I was little I would bring in a homeless puppy or a huge dirty dog out of the streets. My parents would not object. They'd wash them, cure them and let them stay. I'd give my new possession a weirdest name in my universe, the one I picked up from the book or a movie.
The ones I live with right now are my boys. Two gorgeous golden doodles, whom I call "dudes". I spoil them as much as I can. No one else will. Tanner is my sassy one. He should be a girl with a pink ribbon. He is more of a poodle type. He is afraid of anything. Vacuum cleaner is his worst nightmare. He questions everything and sniffs a lot. He likes his curls but don't mind them being short in summer. He does not like hair fans; he prefers it natural. He is petit and cute as a button. He likes grass, playing fetch and getting his butt scratched. He is a great hugging buddy and a comfy pillow.
TJ is my daredevil. First he does, then he gets busted, then he thinks how to get out if it, then he looks at you, and only then gives a paw as if saying "Oops, I did it again, but I am SO sorry". I can't help but give him a kiss. He knows exactly when to act. I think I rule over him, but in reality he manipulates me as any 5-year-old plays his parents. He knows how to ask for what he wants and he will go on until he gets it. He sits next to me on an old sofa in the playroom and watches TV. Sometimes he watches the birds, barks at the deer or tears apart everything that had been misplaced or left unattended by the kids. He likes his messy fur. He does not like short haircuts. He would hide under the kitchen table being totally embarrassed and would not come out until I persuade him he looks ok.
They wait for me by the door and are generous with the sloppy kisses as I come in. They wait for me at the driveway and jump right into the car as soon as I open my door.
They bring me Saturday newspapers or what is left after they got into "reading"
They share a ride in the car when I am going to the post office or a dry cleaning. They do a "commercial dog photo shoot". They stick their faces out of the window and play it cool. People wave as they drive by.
They follow me around the house. I do the laundry; they sit next to me. I cook; they are right on the way, under my feet asking for the "passfood". They know they'll get some anyway.
They steal my leftover dinner as I turn around just enough for them to pull it off.
They got themselves into leftover beer and cocktails. Can't really make up a decent bark. Finally, they manage to produce one; it does not make any sense. I kiss their drunken faces right in the nose. They smell like fruits. They sit unstably next to my knees and look up to me. I love them. I spoil them. No one else will.
After all, they are my dogs. Who cares about the technicality. I am the part of their lives; they are my world.