Do you have any idea the looks you get when someone asks you how many dogs you have and you have to honestly respond, “12”? After the initial unhidden shock of the asker, he or she usually tries to back pedal from the reaction by asking the polite question: “What kinds?”. To that, the only short answer is “All of them.”
I, The Crazy Dog Lady, and my husband, The Crabby Man, never actually set out to become freaks of nature, borderline hoarders and generally insane people. It kind of snuck up on us. When asked how we ended up with so many dogs, my response is usually this: “2 rational acquisitions, 1 irrational acquisition, and the other 9, I don’t even want to talk about.”
The long story translation of this statement, is as follows:
2 of the kids we deliberately sought out as puppies, 12 and 8 years ago. At the time, our dog numbers were very low, I think 4 tops, with the inclusion of these puppies to our home. Thus the rational part.
1 we deliberately agreed to take and actively took part in his getting to us, though at the time, we already had too many dogs, thus, the irrational part.
The other 9, well, we really weren’t given a choice. Through various routes, they simply ended up with us and here they have stayed. OK, so in the case of DASH!, (More on why it is written like that later in this Blog) and Frankie, once they darkened our doorway, it was love at first sight, and in the case of Hector, it only took a couple of days to realize we couldn’t let him go, but the rest, we honestly tried to re-home. For whatever reason, none of them did.
There have been others through the years as well, but until last year, the maximum number never exceeded 7, and even then, we longed for the day when we were back down to 4, though none of the kids were allowed to be lost or die.
OK, I am a Gemini, so everything happens in 2’s. I would never actually consider having only 1 dog… but 12? As much as I love dogs, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be at this point. Where before we longed for the day of 4 dogs, right about now, I would be happy with 7.
People see our videos, hear my tales and exclaim: “What a wonderful life!”. Sure it’s a wonderful life, if you enjoy waking up at 3 am, 7 days a week, have to vacuum several times a day, can never hope to see a vacation or even a weekend away, and do I even need to mention the sheer amount of laundry that has to be done? Who else schedules toenail trimming on Sundays, and even then, only 1/4 of the 48 feet that need to be trimmed are actually done? Who else has a standing appointment at the vet, the 3rd Friday of every month, said appointment under a last name, and not a dog’s name? With 12 dogs, it can be assumed that someone will need to be checked for something, so sure enough, once a month, 1 or 2 dogs go in on the 3rd Friday of every month, at 3:30pm, the who is usually not known until the last minute.
Exhausting? Yes. Expensive? Extremely. Do we get frustrated, angry, sometimes break into tears of anguish over being in this position? Yup. But at the end of the day, some how, some way, despite the various ages, diverse backgrounds, and different times and methods of arrival, the kids are a family within our family, each with a specific function in the group, each complimenting each other, with the end result being a lot of laughter.
Join me as I tell tale of what it is like to live with more dogs than any rational person should ever have. And pray for us that another hard luck case does not present him or herself to us until we are down to a more manageable population.