For a whole bunch of different reasons, we do not have housepets. Actually, in the case of cats, there’s one very good reason, which is that Doug is highly allergic, even though he likes cats and they universally adore him.
We’re regularly asked why we don’t have a dog, and the answer there is complicated because, as I said, there are a whole bunch of reasons. We’re re both worriers, for a start, and a dog would be a source of worry. We share the landscape with mountain lions and bears.
A dog’s outdoor time would have to be supervised, or we’d need to put in a fenced area. The house sits on granite, so setting posts would be a major headache–and I dislike the look of fences around the house, anyway. And what if it took to chasing deer, or elk? What if yodeling coyotes set it barking at night, when we’re both lousy sleepers as it is? What about rattlesnakes, or porcupines? What would we do when we travel, with no neighbors nearby to look after it?
Besides, it’s not like we don’t already have pets; they just don’t live in the house.
I’m asked whether I’ve been riding lately even more often than Doug and I are asked why we don’t have a dog. The answers to that one are best left for another day. I’m a little touchy on the subject, which is probably why I detect, or think I detect, an unstated question under the question: Why do we bother to have horses if we aren’t riding them?
The answer there is simple. They make me happy.
I look for the horses every time I’m outside. I love to watch them, to see what they’re doing. I enjoy visiting with them in the pasture, and feeding time is a ritual that anchors my days. This is real life, not a fairy tale, so our interactions aren’t always a delight. They have personalities, and moods, as do I. We bicker sometimes, and get on one another’s nerves.
But mostly, these guys make me smile, if not laugh. Who wouldn’t want that in their life?