I used to worry about empty nest syndrome startling me awake to all the regret and guilt I have as a mother, but was too busy to feel. I also worried about being lonely after the kids moved out, and whether I would turn to biking, painting or going out of my mind to fill the void. Well, I was wrong on all counts: the kids moving out one, and also how I would fill the void. To my great surprise, I’ve turned into a woman who roams, cooks, travels and sleeps with the big dogs.
By big dogs, I mean big dogs. Mariah, now 14 year’s old, and our new boy, Shay, are each over 75 pounds of pure dog. Shay has long legs and is built ready to beat all humans in any marathon. “That is a big dog,” Kelley said when she met him, and she was right. Not say there aren’t bigger dogs in the world, but I’m a relatively small person, making my dogs giants in my world.
When I wake, I’m waking with big dogs. In fact, they won’t fully wake up until I’m gulping down some cold coffee and starting my bath. “You’re awake?” they seem to say. “Well, alrighty then.”
When I prepare any food whatsoever, big dogs. Shay especially has a not-so-secret dream to be a junior chef, and he likes to stand beside me in utter fascination as I chop carrots, mash potatoes or stir-fry chicken (chicken particularly). “Is there any way I can help you? Anything I can chop or clear for you?” Shay says to me with his chocolate eyes.
When I travel, Shay goes along whenever possible. “Ride in the car with you? The gods are good!!!” he seems to say as he leaps into the passenger seat. Ken had a hard time getting him to budge out of it the other day since Shay had thoroughly convinced himself he was my main man.
When I walk, when I type on the computer (big head tries to lay on the keys), when I attempt to take out the trash, when I unload the dishwasher, when I look through old movies for something I’ve forgotten enough to re-watch, it’s big dogs all the way. And when I go to sleep each night, the dogs too lie down in their dog bed right near ours.
In my dreams, I’m running with the big dogs, feeling their hot breath as they pant near my closed eyes…or maybe they are standing there panting. No matter, it’s a good way to feather (and fur) the nest
Shay is a Chocolate Labaraner and Mariah is a Dark Chocolate Labmation (just so you know who is who in the pictures)