“Jason always says it’s a rodeo every time he walks in the door. They are so excited to get to him; four dog voices raised in joyous hello, butts wiggling, paws dancing. They look for the love and attention they know is coming, their beautiful eyes shining up at him. He’ll take ten or fifteen minutes to give them their loves, but he gets his love too. It’s those moments of beautiful chaos he looks forward to. He enjoys hearing their voices, even when it’s almost overwhelming, because he knows some day we might not. If we go on vacation and get home before the dogs do, the quiet that greets us is so lonely. When he hears their barks and yips and happy whines, it means the world to him. He loves their chaos and I love their calm.
At the end of the day, when we’re all sitting on the couch together, I’ll look up from what I’m doing, and all the different pieces of joy our fur-babies bring to our lives will hit me. Dakota sits on Jason’s right. He always wants to be near, loving us unconditionally. Jason is sandwiched between Dakota and Aurora. I’m reminded that Jason’s love of animals is why I fell in love with him so quickly. Aurora, our sassy snuggler, lies between us, sleeping just like a person under her blanket. Next to the couch Doc will be snoring in his bed, while Dammit, my oldest, snoozes at the end of my footrest. Dammit has seen me through both the darkest and happiest times of my life. As Doc’s snores resonate softly in the room, I look around at each of them, each shining in their own way, and the feeling I get lights me up. Their different pieces make me whole. Then, my and Jason’s eyes connect, and I tell him ‘I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.'”