Thursday, July 26, 2018

My Life Has Gone to the Dog

by Lisa Jordan, @lisajordan

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
Roger Caras 

Several years ago, our family experienced a new change in our lives--our youngest had gone off to college, leaving Hubby and me with an empty nest.

By day, our house had been filled with noise and chaos because, at that time, I owned and operate a family child care program. Once my Little Darlings left for the day, and dinner was over, I'd sit in my comfy chair in the living room to pick up where I left off with my current WIP (work-in-progress). With only Hubby and me at home, I've noticed something very annoying...the ticking clock hanging on the living room wall.

Holy cats, that thing is loud!

When our boys were home and playing Xbox or watching TV, the ticking clock had been drowned out by their chatter. 

Then I realized something else...I missed caring for someone. Hubby didn't count because he's quite self-sufficient, and my Little Darlings didn't count because they left before dinner. 

At that time, I was writing my fourth novel, Lakeside Family, and doing research on dogs because my heroine was a dog trainer. When I suggested getting a dog, Hubby wasn't too thrilled with the idea. We'd had a beautiful yellow Lab in the past.  

When my mom was hospitalized for heart issues, I cared for her rescue dog, Penny--a sweet little chihuahua mix. This little sweetheart burrowed herself into my heart. I kept telling Mom I was going to dognap Penny for good. In fact, Hubby had said, "If only we could find a dog like Penny..."

I had been praying and asking God to provide us with the right pooch at the right time. Several months later, my mom had another heart issue. Due to some concerns afterward, Penny came to live with us full-time. That was four years ago, and our family hasn't been the same. 

Growing up, I was never a huge animal lover, but then I got Penny. 'Nuff said. I show off pictures of her like others show off pictures of grandchildren. When I'm home, Penny's usually on my lap or following me from one room to another. When I leave and come home, she jumps up and wags her tail as if I've been gone for a year. 

Different studies have proved having pets can have positive effects on your health. They can help you become more active, especially if you need to walk them. They offer companionship to help combat loneliness. They can be calming and help reduce stress. 

Do you have any pets? What's your favorite part about being a pet owner? How has it benefited you? Share a picture of your pet in the comments (no snakes, please...major phobia) 


  1. Good morning, Lisa.

    I'm smiling reading this. Eleven years ago, I was at a professional development workshop. As an icebreaker, they had us go to four corners - cat lovers, dog lovers, any animal, and the last - the "I don't get the big deal about pets" corner. I was all by myself in that corner. The only pets I'd ever had were goldfish and they never lived very long.

    Enter Fenway.

    My daughter had a rough Freshman year away at college and wanted to move home. In order to help her decision, we promised a dog for her birthday (it was a little more complicated than that and had to do with tuition, etc.)

    The day after her birthday, my husband took her to the shelter. She took one look at this tiny sick puppy housed with all the big dogs, and fell madly in love.

    Over the last ten years, he's attached himself firmly to me and he's been my best buddy since my husband passed.

    Needless to say, I get endless grief from the people at work about how that "I don't get it" person turned into a crazy dog lover.

    I love that you have Penny, but I'm sorry for the circumstances.

    1. Cate, if I'd been at that PD workshop, I would've joined you in the corner. Now I love dogs. Even though I'm allergic to cats, I love to snuggle with them. Funny how age and circumstances can change your perceptions. So glad you have Fenway! :)

  2. Our 14 year old dog passed away in February. It's been so hard. But we have three great cats that seem to realize our loss and do their best to make us smile. And they're very good at it.

    1. Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad, though, you have your cats to continue to bring you smiles. :)

  3. I love dogs but don't have one at the current time. Hubby and I travel and love to go away at almost a moment's notice, which wouldn't be fair to a pet. However, I have been thinking how nice it would be to have a puppy. Perhaps in the not-too-distant future!

    1. Debby, I totally understand. When we go away, we have to line up a dogsitter and make sure everything is in place before we leave...almost like finding childcare. Getting a puppy would be like having a toddler in the house. They're so stinkin' cute, but man oh man...they are a lot of work! :)

  4. My parents were children of farmers. Animals lived outside; people lived inside. So when I was growing up, there were always a few cats and dogs who lived in the great outdoors. My older next door neighbor had the cutest West Highland terrier when my girls were little. It was my girls who played with and walked her dog. The best of both worlds—a pet without food or vet bills. Empty-nesting, we travel too much to take care of a pet. Pets are very much like a toddler that never grows up—my husband and I have worked ourselves out of that job. Not quite ready to take it on again. :)

  5. Ah dogs. My life would be so boring without one. I have a two year old Aussie that keeps me active. I found someone who comes and takes her for an adventure during the day so I can work. She has her pack now and comes home happy.

  6. Lisa, I am a cat person. That being said, when I moved from the suburbs of Chicago to rural PA, I insisted we get a dog. Especially since my husband travels for his job. Now, my husband's name is Brad. His best friend's wife named their dog Bradley (not thinking about my husband). So, when we got our dog, he was named, Brian after our friend. My kids thought this was confusing. So they soon took to referring to either Brian the man or Brian the Dog.

  7. My big fluffy cat is Tyre. He's perfect.
    My big furry dog is Lucy. She is not perfect. She thinks she's a 50 pound lap dog and is more dog than we meant to get. But, she is perfect, for us. We're amazed by her and having a blast.


Popular Posts

Write for Love Inspired Romance?

Write for Love Inspired Romance?
If you do and would like to join this blog, please contact either Margaret Daley or Pamela Tracy

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive