Brothers and Husbands

I think one tends to the familiar when it comes to choosing a family. Of course one does not get to choose the family that bred him or her. My parents taught me a lot, as the eldest, and I passed some down to my younger siblings.

When I was off at college, my younger brother and sister were given a dog, a Collie they named Nike, after the goddess not the shoe. Yes, they loved her for all time but went off to college and the dog was left with our parents, of course.

My brother would always say, no, she doesn’t have to go out yet. My husband now says “When Zoe asks, I’ll take her out.” Does the dog need to get herself a “wee wee” pad (we do not need or have them) or just cross her legs and say PLEEEEASE!!!

I know my husband is in the middle of important work at home but this early evening work gives him a walk and a break and allows me to make dinner. My brother was in high school, had nothing else to do but could look at Nike and say “she doesn’t need to go yet.”

When I visited I often took her out for him and cooked for her. Two poached eggs on the weekend, on a piece of buttered toast, with two dog biscuits on the other side of the bowl. I forgot to butter the toast once and she wouldn’t eat it. My brother asked what was wrong. “You didn’t butter the toast.” It was still warm so I added a pat of butter and swirled it in.

That is why my brother doesn’t have a dog and we do. Of course Nike ate my breakfast. Zoe’s on frozen raw food.

Both Nike and Zoe were/are herders. Nike gathered the family up for breakfast. Zoe will not let me go anywhere in the house without following me and tries to be especially present in her “magic room,” my kitchen. Oh, the smell of chicken browning and potatoes. AAAAAAHHH. She gets great dog food, not our food.

I miss what Nike did for our family, especially my younger brother and sister. Her death was humane but traumatic for all of us. I ended up working for 20 years for shelter animals and feral cats because even though she was a sickly dog she loved everyone and I wanted to pay tribute to her and our family, including my abused rescue dog, Chani, who I adopted shortly after Nike’s demise and had for ten years.

With Zoe, (adopted from shelter at 6 weeks, with us 11.5 years) now she still herds me. I’m the food wench and disciplinarian and my husband is the “fun guy.” He’s working in the other room right now and the door is closed so it will be quiet. She’s with him, wants to be with me, she really wants her “pack” together so she can just watch to make sure we do not leave her. My brother, the Nike dog expert met Zoe as a pup and said, “she’s really needy.” Amen to that.

ps Can she go out now? Zoe and her “mom” Dee

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