I sleep better when the dogs (at least some of them) are home. I get up easier when the dogs (at least some of them) are there. They are my pack, my furry security blanket, and much as I enjoy the snakes and adore my cat, I need my dogs too.
I was thinking about want vs. need, but for me to function reasonably well in this world I have created, I need the connection that I have with all my animals. Someone in a chat room observed last night that it is the loss of our connection with the natural world that will doom the human race, and I tend to agree.
We human folk have intellectualized our existence to the point where something like being a few minutes late can really ruin a big chunk of our day. I think sometimes we pay a big price for our big brains.
Dogs can help connect us to the natural world, if we spend time with them and let them do their magic. Putting a dog in the backyard 24/7 doesn’t do anything for either of you. Now, my kids spent a lot of time outside last night because they have been kenneled (in daycare) and inside for a better part of a week. They had to bark and the schnauzers, evict any other living thing from the backyard and just roll around in the grass. Along about bedtime they came in, ate dinner and then plopped themselves in the chair by the computer that they have claimed for themselves.
This morning they were happy to be in the routine of getting ready and getting into “their” crate for the day. There is no crate like home.
Poor Greta has gotten a crash course in being kenneled, what with her surgery, followed by my surgery....but she has taken it all in stride. I think there is some benefit to traveling frequently, because to my dogs, the vet/daycare is just another place they go sometimes. When I don’t travel, I take them in to daycare every couple of weeks or so just so that it remains familiar.
Ginger (my first Chihuahua-a half chi half manchester) lived in the backyard but visited in the house, though not as much as my current dogs do. She also went camping with us on the weekends. Home was where we were.
My current dogs get out a lot more (it’s easier to get out when you are 46 instead of 10 years old....) and have more activities to keep them busy. But home is still where we are.