When my children were young they wanted a house pet.  I grew up on a farm and pets were outside only, I did not want a house pet.  After the children grew up and left home, they got house pets.  Our son found out he was allergic to pet dander and had to re-home his cat, but our daughter has at least 2 animals around at all times.  I believe she is on her 5th or 6th dog and 3rd cat.

When I became a realtor I had no inkling there was a house dog in my future.  Hubby and I enjoyed our freedom to come and go as we pleased and being tied to a potty and feeding schedule was not for us.  Then along comes one of my co-realtors who had a client that had a  Shih Tzu Bichon frize that needed to be re-homed.  She put the question out there wondering if anybody would like to adopt a dog.  I spoke to Hubby and he said he was good with it and voila we are pet owners.

The former owners said Bella slept with them, I said that would not happen in our house.  She sleeps with us!  The first night I got up a half dozen times to put her back in the hall on her pillow and within a few minutes she was back in the bed.  How does a little dog like that jump so high as to be able to climb on our bed?  It is so tall!  After about 5 trips and my telling her to go to her bed, hubby finally said "I would rather have her sleep with us than you keep waking me up trying to get her to go to her bed!"  OK I said and she sleeps with us. 

Studies show there are many benefits to owning a pet especially as we age.  Pet owners tend to have better health, less depression, and more active lives on average than non-owners and I can attest to more regular exercise.  Bella (the dog) has me laughing every evening with her antics and our wrestling matches.   To say she improved my quality of life us an understatement.  Since getting Bella I have met many more neighbors, stopping to visit when they are out on the porch or walking their dogs.  I have laughed more in the last 6 months than the prior 5 years.

Even on weekends there is more activity.  I can't sleep in, she needs to go out and to be fed.  There is never any doubt when someone is near our home she alerts us profusely, thus our security has improved.  Just spending time with her is a blessing, and getting out in the neighborhood more often is an added bonus.  Before Bella (I call that time BB) I always thought of small dogs as yippie nuisances and I wish people would leave them at home so I would not be disturbed.  Now I have a hard time living home without her.  Those big black eyes beg to go too.  I've got throw toys all over my house and it doesn't bother me at all.  Ah yes my life has changed but I love it!

Bella was almost 10 when we got her and already I am thinking about when she passes, these dogs average lifespan of about 10 to 16 years, what will I do then?  I can't dwell on that, enjoy her now and worry about that latter.  Go to bed Bella, I am coming!