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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Family Resemblances

Every so often, I walk our two dogs separately, rather than at the same time as I usually do.

As I watched my 14-1/2 year old Lab/beagle, Mila, struggle along on her arthritic hips, I was struck by the similarities she and I share. She has arthritis in her spine and hips; I have arthritis in my hands and bursitis in my hips. Her coat is short, blonde and thick; my hair is short and thick, and it used to be blonde. It's now mostly gray. Mila has gorgeous golden eyes; I have always loved the fact that I have beautiful blue eyes.

Our similarities, however, go well beyond the physical. Both of us prefer solitude and quiet. Neither of us cares for a lot of physical attention. Neither of us is very playful, and both are quiet and serious. Both of us have long nails, mine by choice, hers because she hates having her nails trimmed. Both have hearing problems. I lost most of the hearing in one ear when I was 10 years old; Mila has lost most of her hearing as she got older. We both love being outdoors and exploring the world around us. Both of us are short.

Our other dog, Tia, is a golden retriever. She and my daughter are much alike. Both have long hair, although Julia's isn't as blonde as Tia's. Both are playful, sometimes goofy, and very social. They both make friends easily and love being in the thick of things. And both dog and daughter are very vocal.

I have seen pictures from dog/owner look-alike contests, and although I don't think Mila and I really look alike, it is interesting how much we have in common. I didn't adopt Mila because of her personality. Indeed, I found her in Houston, having apparently been dumped when she was pregnant. We adopted Tia because my daughter fell in love with her fun-loving personality.

It's interesting how our two dogs reflect the personalities of the people in our household. It takes all kinds and all personalities to make the world interesting. I am blessed to have a diverse and loving family with which to share my life.