Some of the most important people in my life are actually not people at all.
I grew up with a dog and cats in the house. The odd bird, rabbit, hamster. A horse like many other teenage girls. But they were just animals. Animals I loved, but animals.
Now, I have very special dogs in my life. Each has a distinct personality and individuality and a unique relationship with me.
The most important is my eight year old, Chippy. Formally, he is Chippo, a highly pedigreed and properly trained German Shepherd. The odd thing is that I didn’t even want him when he was given to me. Now, I can’t imagine life without him. Chip is my rock. A soul companion. He is very balanced; extremely loving, but at the same time, would kill to protect me from danger. I know this for sure, because he has actually stormed past me out of the garden gate intent on attack on a couple of occasions when he thought I was in danger…
Chip has a special corner in the kitchen. When he sits there, it’s time for a hug. I kneel in front of him, arms around him, he tucks his head into my shoulder, and leans in. For ages. Other times, he jumps up with me on the outside sofa, and we have a talk. Literally. He makes a moaning-groaning noise and I make a similar sound back. He replies, and so on. Anyone walking in on us would think I was completely cuckoo. But I don’t mind. Chip and I understand.
The other really special one is my little Delta. She is one of our own puppies, born in the house, and has never known anything different. She was brought up by both her real mother, and me, and as a result seems to think she is both a dog and a human. When she was little, I had to lean down when I came home for her to lick my ear in greeting, or she would not calm down. As if I was a dog. And of course, even though she is now over 3, she still thinks she should be able to sit with me on the couch. I have given up trying to keep her off my bed. Sometimes I’ll go into the bedroom, and there she will be, stretched out, head on my pillow. She never sleeps on my husband’s side—she knows where she belongs!
Before living with these special dogs, I would not have thought it was possible to love animals like this. But when a creature gives you unconditional love, greets you when you return home as if you have been gone for days and are the most important person in the world, how can one not?