About every six months, I start feeling so guilty about being such a half-assed dog mom that I resolve to do better. It is not really possible, my reasoning goes, that both my dogs want to sleep soundly 22 hours a day and spend the rest of their time snuggling, eating and going on walks to the end of the block (even if that sounds like a pretty heavenly life to me). Dogs need more exercise than that! Dogs need stimulation! If they seem like they don’t want more, then they must be depressed! I have allowed my dogs to become depressed! I am neglectful! The Department of Woofer and Family Services will be beating down my door to take them away from me any day now!
Never mind that Lucille is 347 years old, and Solomon, even in his younger days, would watch me throw a ball across the living room and look at me like, “What, you want me to go after that? It’s far now!” Never mind that he gets his heart rate up every day by spinning in delighted circles upon hearing the word “Outside,” busts out the door and down the stairs like he’s being chased, and then immediately needs a nap. Never mind that Lucille can’t get on the couch without help, much less attempt to go up a tree after a squirrel anymore. Never mind that they both have three-inch legs. I am clearly a horrible mother for not taking them on 15-mile hikes every day and enrolling them in Flyball.
So today I decided that I am going to do better, and I began by taking them down to the empty beach and giving them my blessing to run around. For the first thirty seconds, it seemed like they’d been waiting for this opportunity all their lives: Oh my god, it’s a new tree! Oh my god, there’s a person coming down here! Oh my god, it’s water!
… But wait. That’s like twenty feet away. And we don’t really like water anyway. And… hey! Mom’s sitting down, and here we are, using our legs like suckers!
And so, given access to an entire beach and park, chockablock with squirrels and seagulls, they both chose to come back to me and snuggle quietly. As it turns out–and as I re-learn when I try crap like this every six months–I am not actually a horrible mother; I just really do have the world’s laziest dogs.
I have no idea how I got so lucky.