The true meaning of unconditional friendship to me = my dogs and those of my roommate.
Despite the fact that I own 2 REAL dogs that inhale the treats I toss to them in midair without the slightest need to sniff first, and he has 2 Kickmes (my endearing term for dogs the perfect size to be drop-kicked across the backyard), each one brings a color to my world that is truly irreplaceable and unique.
First, there’s my longtime wing-man and shadow, Ozzy, who is 14 (ancient for a Boxer) and still hasn’t learned to lift his leg when he pees. This is my “Old Man”, my second-oldest baby (he was the next to join the family after my daughter was born), Ozzy is an appendage to me all day, every day. Ever the snuggler and cuddler that perceives himself as a lap dog, Oz has made a name for himself throughout the neighborhood as the friendliest dog around – friendly with adults, children and babies, alike. Oz offers the dog voice of reason amongst the dog clan in my household.
Then we have good ol’ Vega, a Shepard mix who basically just does what she wants – hey, I figure since she’s almost 12, she’s earned the freedom. She breaks the mold in the tradition that old dogs don’t tend to be troublemakers – she’s a scoundrel by design and always has been. Vega maintains the fluffiest and most feathery coat; as girly and pretty as she is, she has a bark deeper in tone than her older brother Ozzy. She sports naturally shaped Cleopatra eyeliner, too – so her middle name is Cleopatra.
Next is Mo-Mo, the obnoxiously vocal Papillion belonging to my roommate; this is a 7 year old dog is very vain about her hair(fur)style from day to day – seriously. We like to mess with her by telling her she has a dreadlock here or there; she gets all self-conscious until one of us pretends to fix it for her. She’s recently learned to repeat the sound matching the word ‘Mama’, too, which is pretty impressive to me. Mo’s downside would be that she barks non-stop, which gets on my nerves often and provokes more of my own hollering than any dog I’ve met before. Her intelligence is what won me over eventually, because I can respect it about her. It’s taken a while but I have grown very fond of the little shit.
Last, but definitely not least is Mikey AKA Grillz McCain, an ancient little Cheagle with a notable under bite and the tendency to take fingers off, mistaking them for sausages. He also belongs to my roommate. In this photo, Mikey was unaware of the fact that he had ventured underneath the Land Cruiser hardtop while it was temporarily on the back patio; he was barking at me to open the back slider door for him because he didn’t realize he could just walk back out from under the top and then come around. He is 17 years old and quite the trooper; his spirits are good for such an old and confused dog – so you gotta love the guy.