As you well know from following my adventures on this blog, my husband and I live in a small cabin in the woods, nestled on 43 acres of Ozark beauty that we share with two dogs and five cats.
As lifelong animal lovers, our home has never been without the patter of little feet and the ever-present menace of car-- sized dust bunnies.
We also find ourselves every morning dodging cat toys, dog bones, the occasional "I love you" offering of a dead mouse or snake from the cats and the same offering from the dogs, which is usually the tail of an armadillo or a dead deer leg, gently gnawed upon and laid to rest right at the foot of the stairs, so not only do we trip, but we get to start the day off with a good "ewwwwwww" -- and all of this before coffee mind you.
Our animals are our kids though, so we praise the brave hunters for their prowess while quickly disposing of the dead animal parts in places where they (hopefully) will not be dug back up and re-deposited as yet another morning hello.
There are days when having so many furry children can be a bit of a bother - especially on nights when we're cooking freshly caught fish from the river. Those nights we get dinner and a show, as the cats go through the most amazing aerial acrobatics and balancing acts in an attempt to glean even the smallest sliver of fish from our plates while we try to eat, fending off paws, tails and other cat parts in the process.
The dogs on the other hand are much better, having learned that once we finish eating, we will gladly share the plate remnants with them in what we call "Puppy pre-rinse" -- as in, our pre-rinse cycle before dish washing. Trust me, Cascade combined with the pre-rinse cycle on a dishwasher never got dishes so clean.
Dogs can also be interesting back seat drivers, as they tend to notice everything on, beside and above the road that you do not deem important, such as people, other dogs, birds, etc., at which point they bark, climb, scrabble and claw their way to the windows closest to the offending object, including your lap, while you're trying to drive. This usually means you end up with 80 pounds of dog in your lap, drool in your left ear and the right side of your head being whacked by a tail that puts a piano metronome to shame -- all while you're trying to driving 55mph down the highway. Have I mentioned how glad I am that my car insurance company includes pet insurance?
Of course, the best part about our pets is their companionship -- they never judge, are always there for a hug or a desperately needed break on a particularly stressful day and they are great fun to walk through the woods with, as you'll find yourself noticing things in nature that you'd never seen before -- and in the case of the cats, might never see again if they happen to catch it...except perhaps the following morning at the bottom of the stairs. Ewwwww.