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Practicing to be Pet Owners


Even though Husband and I are absolutely blessed by our little rental house, one thing about it makes me sad: we are not allowed to have pets.

Sigh.

Husband grew up with a collie and then later a golden retriever, and he would really like to replicate that experience at some point in our marriage.

I only ever had cats. As in, I had two cats but also had countless cat posters plastered to my bedroom walls.

Husband doesn’t want a cat. At all. Thankfully for Husband, I am more than willing to get a dog someday. I’ve always wanted a pet I can take for walks.

We’re getting a chance to practice being pet owners this week as we house sit and pet sit for an older couple from our church.

This is Riley, our child for the week:


 Isn’t she cute?

Definitely not a collie or a golden retriever, but I’m having fun putting my nurturing instincts to some kind of use.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but Husband was the one who grew up with dogs and has that dog knack. However, I am the one who has a little fluffy white shadow for the week.

When we’re getting ready to leave for work, Husband and I usually stand by the front door and pray while hugging (adorable, yes, I know). This morning, though, contrary to tradition, we had to pray with about a foot of space between us. Every time Husband put his arms around me, Riley went a little bananas, barking and bouncing in a distressed manor. My shadow is also a protector. How sweet!

I think part of the reason that Husband has not secured the undying affection of Riley the way I have is because he just doesn’t encourage her enough. Tonight Riley had been sitting by me on the couch and jumped down. Husband wanted her to jump back up and sit by him. This is what happened:

“Riley, come sit by me,” Husband says while casually patting the seat beside him. Riley stares at him from the ground.

“No, that’s not how you do it,” I respond. “Watch: Riley! Come here! Come sit by me!” I sing in a high-pitched baby voice (which I vow never to use with my real babies), and enthusiastically pat the couch next to me.

Riley takes a running start and jumps up to sit beside me.

“See? You have to show some excitement if you want Riley to sit by you,” I say.

“Riley should be naturally excited to sit by me,” is Husband’s response.

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