Saturday, April 3, 2010
People are suprised when I tell them I have five dogs. And though living with this many dogs seems normal and fine to me, I do realize that FIVE is a lot.
Many years ago, when I was in high school, I read a book about a woman who took care of dogs in her home. She had dogs herself, and brought the new dogs in and integrated them into her "pack." No cages, no leashes, no fences. I didn't think all of what she did was a great idea, but one thing she said made a big impression upon me. She said that she believed animals would live up to our expectations to a large degree. It was her belief that if she expected the dogs to all get along, they would.
I tell people that we have a rule at our house that everyone gets along. People think I am kidding, but really, I am not. My husband and I have never had a fight. My dogs live side by side with the chickens, the rabbit, the sheep. I expect that everyone will get along, and they do.
One day our (then) teen aged daughter threw a fit about something. My calm, patient husband said to her, "Your mother and I CHOOSE to keep a peaceful home. You will not change that." I was moved to hear him say those words. It is a choice, I think, to have a peaceful home. Even the pets feel it.