This is Molly, one of my favorite dogs on earth.
Molly is a hundred pounds of good-natured Golden Retriever. When she’s in the house she’s the epitome of a house dog but let her outside and she’s a beast unhinged. She’ll dig out a ground hog, fell a deer and take down a damn cow if she’s given the chance. But indoors, she’s a lapdog and all she wants is to be petted and loved. My nephew Tony insists that should he die, in lieu of a funeral all of us have to pet Molly for a half an hour. If she sits next to me when I’m scratching her head she’ll lean into me. If I stop and walk away, she’ll fall over due to the trance head scratching puts her in. Her devotion to my brother Matt is awe-inspiring. Really. Molly pretty much sums up what a dog should be.
This is Sadie, the grande dame of Lancaster dogs. Though she’s getting up in years she is the alpha. Nothing happens unless Sadie allows it to happen. She’s one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever known despite her domineering nature.
Back in the day when she was young and spry, Sadie used to go out in the yard and bring back a single pebble. She’d drop it at my feet. I’d then pick it up and throw it back into the yard. She’d retrieve it and drop it at my feet again. We’d go on like this for hours.
This is sweet and neurotic Lily. I’m convinced that she’s misunderstood and her crazed nature is all a misunderstanding. Poor Lily just wants to be loved, can’t everybody see that? She and Greta got into it over the summer and I’ll never forget my brother jumping between them and shouting “Asshole! Asshole!” as he dragged apart two dogs who were nearly as big as he is.
This is Greta. Greta is the most neurotic dog I’ve ever met. Can a dog be autistic? Despite her many issues, she’s still a lovable lump of dog who makes sitting in front of a fireplace more enjoyable. That’s my brother Steve’s arm and his other half Christine’s leg in that shot. Were it not for them, Greta wouldn’t stand a chance. She used to be a normal dog but back when she was a puppy she was spooked by a neighbor’s Collie. She’s been a basket case ever since.
Greta, Lily and Sadie all sleep together every night but heaven help anybody who’s nearby when one of them touches another. Hell hath no fury as Lily and Greta when they’re getting into it. Those two need to take the chill pill Sadie takes or even better, learn to take it outside like Molly does.
I’ve been dog-less since the late ’90s and I’m looking forward to having the hounds of Lancaster to keep me company. Big dogs in the country get into all manner of trouble but so far as I’m concerned, that makes them all the more appealing. I’m dreading dealing with winter but having Molly, Sadie, Lily and Greta to curl up with will make it easier.