In dogs we trust

<p>Lucifer and General, both German shepherds, are part of the Malgesini pack.</p>

I’m hopelessly in love. Although my husband John and I will celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss this September, I’m not talking about him — it’s my dog.

General, my nearly 7-month-old German shepherd, has definitely wormed his way into my heart. He can get me to do just about anything.

After having Jeter, my 13-year-old German shepherd, put down in April 2012, I told John I didn’t think I was going to get another dog. It’s tough to lose a furry friend.

Lucifer, my husband’s German shepherd, helped me through the grief process — which included lots of hugs. Several months later, I made arrangements to adopt General and make the Malgesini pack whole again.

As my body has increased in age, my joints have become quite adept at predicting the weather. I honestly think a little meteorologist was surgically implanted along with the artifical knee I had put in several years ago. Since that time, I’ve hung up my skis and have found that bears are really onto something with that hibernation thing.

General, however, doesn’t seem to recognize when the mercury dips below freezing. He still wants to go for a walk. With my schedule, it’s usually at night and dark by the time I’m able to take a stroll. General doesn’t care. His puppy dog eyes melt my heart and soon I’m bundling up like the Michelin Man and heading out the door.

After a few occasions of trying to ignore his pleading looks, I found a way to satisfy his need for exercise and my desire to stay warm. A laser pointer. Yup, I stand on the back porch and point the beam. General runs laps trying to catch the little red dot. Lucifer, who has no interest in the light, derives great pleasure in running defensive interference while his brother from a different mother chases it like a mad dog.

Additional proof that our canine kids rule the household: When we bought a new Jeep Wrangler we purchased the larger and more expensive four-door version to have more room. Also, John and I have talked for years about taking an Alaskan cruise for our 30th anniversary. That idea has been replaced with planning a trip that includes the dogs.

And the biggest indicator that love runs deep for our dogs: I’ll drink after them. This is pretty significant, as I won’t even let my friends drink from my glass or bottle. In fact, one time while golfing in the sweltering heat, my good friend Karin Gilliland asked if she was parched and dying of thirst, would I let her have a drink. I told her if she laid face-up on the ground, I would pour water into her mouth.

Just to be clear, no, I don’t get down on all fours and drink out of their bowls. But a few weeks ago I came downstairs to find General standing in my chair with his snout in my glass lapping up my Pepsi. When I told this story to a friend, she asked if I continued to drink the rest of that Pepsi.

“Yes,” I said. “He’s family.”

———

Tammy Malgesini is the EO community editor. Her column, Inside My Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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