How did I come to own six dogs? I would never have done that in my right mind-and they are all young except Lula. These dogs will be with me for ten or more years. I will be 65 with six dogs. Crazy. I don’t know how many cats there are at my house. I think there are maybe eight that I can touch. I don’t count them as mine if I cannot touch them. It seems like reasonable criteria. But with the highway and the natural predators, I suspect, I would only have five or so cats long term.
What am I saying? Five or so cats, six dogs, four horses (because I really don’t think Kid will make another ten years) that is still a barn/house full as I enter my golden years.
Although, if I am honest, I did have five dogs in my home in suburban Sugar Land. I guess the difference was, if we went out-of-town, they could be boarded. One time we talked the Davangs into taking three of the little ones while the Dobermans went to the kennel. I don’t think Becky will ever forget it. She had multiple dogs of her own and it was a crazy, mixed up pack for the entire time we were gone. I can still get her to mimic Ernie’s (a shih tzu) overbite. Ernie was also deaf and more than a little blind, so he could “feel” the other dogs barking and would join in.
It was also different then because there were no cats or horses at home. Just the dogs were there to ensure I must be home every morning and night. But one call to the local vet and they could easily be boarded. We have one friend, Richard, who will adjust what he is doing and babysit the house and the animals. But he has a fulltime job and taking over the duties at Six Meadow Farm are pretty consuming.
I guess when others make their retirement plans, they think of traveling, relaxing and doing the things they could not do when working. I am completely clear that I will never be able to afford to retire. I have had too many starts and stops, injuries and health issues to have built a great retirement plan. Instead, I will be on my walker, making it across to the barn, falling over running cats at the crack of dawn so I can get off to work somewhere to pay the bills. Sounds like a compelling reason to up my 401k allotment, say no to more animals and be thriftier. But somehow, I know I will enter my golden years, surrounded by the love of my animals. I guess it could be worse.