I’m Thankful for the Food and Worried About the Dogs

As I write this, I’m waiting for my two daughters and one dog to drive down from Illinois. I’m thankful for the clear and sunny weather. It doesn’t matter how old my kids get, I will always worry about them driving. My son is driving up from Dallas on Wednesday and, since the times that we are all together in one place have become more rare, I’m thankful that we can all be together. You never know about next year.

I asked everyone what kind of side dish they wished for, and then stuffed the refrigerator to overflowing. My daughters will help me with the cooking because they are really good cooks – and they’re pretty agile at stepping over large dogs who like to lie in the kitchen like canine floor cleaners.


Which brings me to my next worry. We have acquired a new labradoodle, Sandy, and I’m not sure how she will mix with our daughter’s dog, Leroy. Leroy and our old labradoodle, Lucy, have an uneasy relationship based on avoidance. They’re both slightly neurotic, but their particular issues make them fairly easy to handle. Leroy won’t walk on uncarpeted floors, so we can essentially isolate him on a carpet-square island until we choose to let him off. Seriously. We pull the carpet square with Leroy on it to the door to take him for a walk. We call it “Leroy’s magic carpet.” Lucy just gives Leroy a wide berth. If she wants to walk past him, she barks until I come over to escort her past Leroy. I have to walk in between the two of them.


OK, so all of that has worked on past visits. Now we have Sandy, a young, white labradoodle who thinks everyone is her friend. She will sit on your lap, make a running leap at you, run toward other dogs and cats to play with them. She weighs almost 80 pounds and is spring-loaded. She can be a little rough. Let’s just say Sandy does not have the wisdom and restraint of our other dog. Oddly, she is deferential to Lucy. I don’t know if it’s because Sandy is just thankful that we rescued her from neglect and understands that Lucy was in our house first, or what. But she is very aware that Lucy is in charge.


I read somewhere that you should let dogs meet in neutral territory without a leash. This seems sensible. Butt-sniffing is more difficult on a leash. I think we’ll try the backyard. Maybe Sandy and Leroy will be great friends. But I’ll have the hose ready just in case.

These are the kinds of things that I lose sleep over. The Thanksgiving meal – a piece of cake, or should I say, a piece of pecan pie. Wondering whether or not these dogs will get along is a much bigger concern – a week of canine clashes could get old really fast. I’m hoping for the best. I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope all of you are as fortunate as I am and get to see the ones you love – dogs, humans and whatever else the kids bring home.

Categories: Editor’s Blog