We have 2 dogs, Precious and Frisco, that were our original babies. Precious, the red colored one, we adopted about 6 years ago and she was 1-2 years old then. Mark picked her out all by himself for me as a Valentine present. Best gift I ever got. I instantly fell in love. She already had the name Precious from the pound and so we kept it. All though it does not fit her AT ALL. She will also respond to Big Mamma (but so do I). The next year we decided she needed a friend so we went to the pound and found Frisco. His name we did change from Buck-that could have been bad! Don't let his sad eyes fool ya-he's quite a happy dog. I hope so anyway. He is a bit of a loner, not into snuggling or playing much. He hangs out by himself, sleeps alone, and doesn't like to be bothered much. They have been part of our life. Precious brought me the key to our first house and my engagement ring. Good thing she didn't eat it!
They used to get long walks and regular baths. Now they spend alot of time in the back yard, but only when it's under 90 degrees. The last time they had a walk was probably when we went to San Antonio and paid a dog sitter. A bath....well they at least get one twice a year when they have their vet checkups. Luckily there is a groomer on site. We just can't tackle them with the hose anymore. Oh, I just had a thought. In another year or two I can force the boys to do it!! Quite frankly, I don't even remember to feed them twice a day. But by 5:00 Precious will be following me around non stop and taking me to the garage door to be let in there where the food is. After kids, the pets learn their place....under the kitchen table. So don't think I'm a bad dog owner. Look at them, trust me they are NOT starving for food or attention.
And speaking of Mark's trips-that's when I love having the dogs. Precious does bark at most noises, the sprinklers coming on or a person or other dog walking down the sidewalk, a horn honking a mile away. But Frisco, the quiet one that he is, doesn't even open his eyes to such noises. But when he does bark, especially in the middle of the night, I get up! He is a great guard dog. And scary. If he does not like you he will growl, the full teeth, eyes bulging kind of growl. Kind of makes me feel good.
Now Precious worried us when we had kids because she had shown signs of aggression toward small children and other dogs. We did everything all the books and experts said about introducing dogs and babies. But it was still a good 6 months before we let them around the baby. Now look at her. She is great. The boys climb all over her, poke and pull things, and she just takes it. They are still dogs, and not small ones. I would never leave them alone together because even the best dog can only talk so much!