In other Words with Dave


Written by Dave Miller in the January 2019 Issue

Ah, blended families. If you have one and made it through the holidays with little or no drama - congratulations. It’s not easy. Someone gets too much attention and there’s jealousy. Or someone gets excluded and feelings are hurt. Blending is hard work. Alison and I find it exhausting. Polite coexistence may be the best we can hope for. Of course I am talking about our pets.

Between us, we have 4 fur babies. There are territory squabbles, occasional hissing fits and barking. Lots of barking. But they are all loved, and we are doing our best to make it work.

Alison is mom to Puzzle and Mac. Puzzle is the long haired Calico and senior citizen of the group. When Puzzle walks, you can almost feel her joints aching. Her meows are deep and scratchy - almost like she was a lifetime smoker.

Mac is Alison’s mixed breed dog. Half Havanese and half King Charles spaniel - and all neurotic. Not really his fault. He was rescued from a puppy farm, so he has some issues. Anything out of his routine upsets
the little guy. He once spent hours barking at a new purse Alison brought home. Alison loves him very much. He seems to have mostly accepted me. Don’t tell him, but I would describe him as a sausage link with puppy legs.

I also bring a dog and cat set to our relationship. I have a female cat I call “black kitty.” She once had a name but she doesn’t listen anyway... and I’m a visual person... so I just call her the descriptor. Black Kitty is a one- cat-per-household cat living in a four-pet home. She lives a sequestered life in the back half of the house. She seems content not engaging the other pets.

I also have a dog, Bailey, who is the youngster of the group. She’s super smart and unquestionably the best dog I have ever had (sorry Baron, Solo and Lady). She goes to work with me most everyday. And enjoys greeting clients and being fed lunch yummies by Back40ers.

Our pets are part of the family. With all our kids gone, Alison and I still get to dote on little ones, clean up after messy ones and still have tuck-in rituals. We even give the occasional lecture (they don’t listen). I guess one big difference is none of these pets will ever move out. 

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