It’s not what you think. In fact, this post has nothing to do with parents. Since “home” is as much about family and the people we spend our time with as it is about a place or a feeling, I thought I’d introduce the two that adopted me into the family almost immediately upon meeting. I’m not talking about Mike and Scout (sorry guys, I’ll get to you in a later post!). I’m talking about the ones that accepted me into their home after just a few days, a slew of kind words and caresses, and a handful of bonding walks around the property. Yes, I’m talking about Mike’s dogs.
These two have done more to make me feel at home out here in the country than I can possibly put into words. When I first met them, it was June and Misty had recently rolled in something dead. That and her natural reservations around new people prevented me from making a proper introduction that involved touch and, to some degree, the ability to be in the same room, so I got to know her more slowly. Moose, on the other hand, wanted to be best buds from the minute I said, “Hello, Moose!” I probably threw a stick for him or patted his head or something, because this little dude has followed me around constantly ever since. Here they are:
Moose. As Scout calls him, “Moose Michael Gohr.” As I call him, “Boo-boo,” “Doodle Bug,” “Moosey-Moo,” and just about any other combination of words that slip out of my mouth unsupervised and untethered (“Turkey Pot Pie,” “Moose-Meister General”). This one is the comedian, the one that wants to play day and night, and who will eat anything that does not eat him first. Try it, but be sure to tell him to take it “Easy” or you may end up missing some fingers. He has no medium setting. If he’s not sleeping, he’s probably so excited that he’s quivering and bounding with energy, always smiling. Throw anything for him to fetch and everything else in the world becomes a blur to him, and you become his favorite person, ever. His favorite things: sticks, love, food.
Misty. As Scout calls her, “Misty Michelle Gohr.” As I call her, “Lady Bug,” “Sweetie,” and “Ya Big Goofball.” OK, so “Ya Big Goofball” isn’t really a name, but she does get that occasionally when we’re playing. She is clever, independent, and self-assured. Whereas Moose seeks approval and love all the time, Misty is much more aloof, like a cat, in that she’ll take it on her terms, thank you very much. However, mature and sophisticated as she appears, to me she’s a big softie with a lot of playful puppy left in her. She’s mischievous, funny, and very good at stealing Moose’s sticks right out from under him. Her favorite things: freedom, laying outside, rolling in dead things or poop.
Between us all, there is a dynamic of companionship that is playful, spirited, trusting, respectful, and full of kindness and love: the perfect balance of components for the kind of life I want, the kind of home I want.
Even though Moose and Misty are Mike’s dogs and I am a relative newcomer in their lives, Mike sometimes jokes that they are mine, meaning that I have stolen their hearts and loyalty. But I know better. I know it is they who have stolen my heart and that I belong to them.