Though my sister and I never had a dog growing up, my dad did. His name was Moose, which was very fitting since he was a St. Bernard. He wasn't allowed inside very much, unless it was extremely bad weather. He slept on a dog bed on the porch and began each day by eating a big bowl of homemade spaghetti and meatballs. According to my grandmother, Moose walked my dad and his brothers to the bus stop every day. When he saw that they made it safely on the bus, he returned to the house for a short nap (probably from a carbohydrate coma). When he woke up, fully rejuvenated and food finally digested, he would roam around the neighborhood until the early afternoon when the postman came by. Apparently, Moose loved the postman. He would get a quick pat on the head and then would alert my grandmother to his arrival by barking incessantly until she came out to get the mail. Afternoons were hunting time. Gram said that he would bring back "presents" and leave them on the porch for her to find. She mentioned her hatred of these gifts, but loved the fact that Moose would stand there wagging his tail while she made a huge fuss about how gross it was that he would leave his kill on the porch for her - I tried to explain that these were gifts of love, but she was still horrified to remember it! Moose waited at the bus stop for my dad and his brothers to come home from school, and then he accompanied them on all of their adventures until dinner time - which was most likely a feast of veal, chicken, or eggplant parmesan.
Claire and Moose live very different lives, which is definitely a sign of the times. Over the past fifty years, dogs have continued to be a huge part of the family, but I feel like their comfort is taken more into consideration now. I mean, Claire sleeps in my bed, goes to school a few days during the week, gets lots of snuggles, and comes with me wherever I go (for the most part). Moose, on the other hand, spent most of his time outside and got the run of the land. However, both seem like they are very happy dogs whose lives are fulfilled. You know... I just hope that Moose realized what a gift it was to be the recipient of my Gram's food. Her homemade meals were more precious than gold, so Moose definitely held a special place in her heart!