We have three dogs in our house. Our furniture and clothes are covered in dog hair (although HOW the furniture is covered, I don't know because the dogs aren't allowed on the furniture. I think they wait until we're not home and then they wallow all over the couches. Just a thought.). We have three different food bowls on the floor that each dog shares with the other dog. Pommer, the youngest and definitely the one that is the most roly-poly, grazes out of ALL of the bowls all day long. When I'm home cleaning, cooking, doing whatever, I have three dogs that follow me in to each room that I go in to and they lay there until I get the job done or until I move in to another room. Cooking can be a definite chore when there are three dogs lying on the kitchen floor ... and getting up from the couch or easy chair always requires a quick glance at the floor to see if there's a dog underfoot. We are literally a house full of dogs and people.
All three of the dogs like to sleep with my husband and me. Pommer was little enough that we didn't mind when he first got here. He'd sleep curled up next to my legs, and my husband never knew he was there (until Pommer started getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go outside and get a doggy treat! I would just ignore him or get after him, while Wes would actually get up and get that goofy dog what he wanted!). Since Pommer didn't disturb Wes's slumber, he was allowed to sleep with us. Gracie, who was an outside dog when we first got her, has never particularly been interested in sleeping in the bed (thank goodness!). She sleeps in a upholstered chair in our room or on the cool tile in the bathroom. But yes, she's in here with us. Then, there's Stoney ... the big dog ... the dog that is literally the size of a man (okay, a small man, but still a man!) when he stretches out. Stoney LOVES to be in the bed. Stoney wants to be in the bed, lying on the pillow, under the blankets next to me and he'd really prefer for Wes to sleep on the floor. Yes, Wes isn't particularly fond of that scenario. Wes usually (okay, always!) wins, and Stoney either tries to sleep pressed up to me somehow, or he'll sleep on the upholstered bench at the end of our bed (if Wes totally kicks him out).
The dogs also love to greet people at the door. Gracie has this high-pitched bark that is piercing. She'll bark and then run off and hide. She is scared of strangers ... well, actually, she's pretty much scared of everyone except for immediate family. Little, fat Pommer will bark and get so excited that he can barely breathe. He'll wheeze and jump around and then exhaust himself (we really need to get some weight off of that dog). Stoney has this deep, extremely scary bark. He'll turn in circles until he gets dizzy and frantically try to kiss anyone who comes in the door. People are usually traumatized before we can even get them out of the entry way in to the living room.
None of our dogs like to take a bath, although they ALL love to be brushed and will let you brush them forever. They don't like to share chew toys, so we don't get them anymore, but they do share their food. Pommer likes to punish people by pooping in their room (for years, we blamed it on poor old Snooker, thinking he had "lost it", but Pommer just pooped by the chair Snooker slept in. We finally caught him and broke him of the habit pretty quickly). Stoney has horrible, loud, stinky gas ... Gracie's tummy gurgles ... Pommer likes to nip at your toes when you walk by (fun game!). And every single one of those silly dogs are just sooooo grateful to be loved and in a home with people.
I know a lot of people don't like dogs. They think they're obnoxious and smelly ... and those people would be right! But, we can learn so much from our pets. Dogs love unconditionally. They accept their lot in life. They're loyal. They protect the weaker ones. And they need us -- their owners and masters. I had to think -- do I love unconditionally? Do I accept what I've been given without complaint? Am I loyal to those I serve? Do I protect and care for those who are weaker and need help? Do I act with God like my dogs act with me? Seriously! When it's time for God and I to meet, do I act like my entire day has been made just by being in His presence?