they had the run of the house, the entirety of my attentions and affections, and were not only fed well, given treats, and walked frequently, but they also enjoyed quite a bit of extracurricular fun: swimming in nearby rivers, going to the beach, playing frisbee, hiking trails, and the list goes on and on.
these days, they settle for being well fed and walked (confession: walked a tad less frequently) and for still capturing my attention and affection, allbeit less so, since they are now shared with one miss apple cheeks.
who, it turns out, adores her canine companions from whom and for whom she has garnered and given a great deal of affection.
they treat emma gingerly, with a gentle care that i have never witnessed in either of these 75-80 pound dogs. they tip toe around emma as she crawls around and between them. they are careful to never pick up one of her many toys scattered across the floor - instead focusing only on their own stuffed animals. how they have learned to discern between them is beyond me. but, they do. and, while they still try to sneak into our bedroom at night, during a storm, or when it's loud in the main part of the house, they never veer into emma's room. in fact, they treat her, her toys, and her possesions with a reverence, a sanctity that is touching.
i used to refer to my doggies as my "babies." not in the literal sense of course, but in an endearing way because they've always been there, through thick or thin, in great times, and not-so-great times. but, i've never loved them quite as much as i do now, when i see how selfless and loving they are to the real baby in my life: our little e.