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Dog sitting for a vacationing friend I find myself navigating my home in a whole new way. Carefully that is. There are currently four dogs in my house. Two of the pets are large, two small, but all are constantly underfoot. And I mean constantly. If I sit and work a while, I stand to find three of them across any path through the room. I must pick my way carefully over and around the sleeping hulks to get out- and they grumble! But as I leave the room they all spring to their feet to follow me. I have learned to climb the steps to the far side, as they all rush ahead of me in a scramble. Going down the steps is even more hazardous- if I forget them and start down, I have almost been knocked off my feet as they try to run ahead.

In the middle of the family room/studio where I enjoy relaxing and working there sits a huge dog crate. One of my dog visitors must spend the night inside, as well as placed there when I leave my house. If I forget, she forgets how impolite it is to tear and rend anything she  deigns to reach. Three rolls of paper towels thus far have met such a fate, the floor resembling a snowstorm.

Her house mate enjoys the challenge of chewing on  more selective items; my favorite sofa cushions, a purple plastic bowl I put down with a treat, a very big old dog bone(good boy). Small pieces of purple plastic currently decorate my living room floor.

When one dog hears a noise and barks…they All bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! times four. And four times longer. And there is almost always a noise!

At mealtimes I am still working on an equitable solution for four starving dogs to eat at once. I muddle through, careful as they eat two different food types in four different amounts. Oy!

Each dog has his or her own personality- from bossy to easy going, from sneaky to blundering, from feisty to sneaky. No food can be left near the edges of any surface in reach. One dog is afraid of the dark; I must go outside into the cold night with her to encourage her not to “go” in the house. Additionally they all have varying needs for attention, and one is extremely jealous!

But- sweet they are. Each one gives as much love as they can. Each one tries their best to please me, and figure out what I want from them. And they think my actions and conversation are fascinating- unlike most of the human race, lol. So for this short time I will have the companionship of four dogs, the bulk of a large crate, and I will remember to laugh at their antics,walk carefully over them and on the stairs,  give them lots of pats, and tell them all how good they are.

And they all are.