Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Mouths to Feed

While I continue to dread the moment when my daughter leaves for college, it wouldn't be completely accurate to say I am facing the prospect of an empty nest. The management of the ever-expanding stable of family pets will be my undoing, I can just feel it. My wife's kitten has become fully assimilated into the family. This scene of domestic tranquility should tell you everything you need to know.
The idea that the dog has befriended the little beast isn't so farfetched. Our Golden Retriever has a gentle demeanor. She's seven years old and I think I recall hearing her growl twice. On the other hand, getting tacit acceptance from the queen of the universe here is quite an accomplishment. Yes, the Old Fat Cat has begrudgingly embraced her younger counterpart. They generally keep their distance, competing for the dog's affection. The distance is gradually getting smaller.
Our son, out on his own in the fabulous bachelor pad, doesn't live alone. He has one of my wife's kitten's littermates, so he's grappling with the responsibilities of caring for a kitten, too. Everybody comes by the affection for pets honestly. My wife grew up in a double-dog house. Her mother carries on the tradition, presently managing two Goldens of her own.
Today, the latest furry family member made his first visit to our house. My father has adopted a stray dog. This is really a positive development, because it means my father is forward-thinking, even at 83 years old. He took the dog to the vet for shots and a necessary surgery (sorry, Big Guy) and the doctor estimated the dog's age at less than a year. So, he's a puppy. It's easy to believe, because he's showing puppy tendencies including a lack of discipline and a certain destructiveness. Of course, that may tell us why he was a stray.
Do the math with respect to the average lifespan of a dog. As awkward as it might be to think it, chances are this guy will wind up living with me someday. So, it's good he's getting to know his furry cousins here during the holidays.

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