It’s been a year since I’ve been home to California, and in that time there have been a few changes. Last year Rosie and Maggie, our family dogs, both died. In January my parents got two new dogs, “new” being a relative term. Petunia and Honey are pound dogs.
Petunia, a Bassett, was a breeding dog who was turned in when she got too old to breed. She moves and sounds like a sea lion. Honey is a true mutt – short, with German Shepherd markings, and a wide bear-like face. Honey had at least three other homes because she has an esophagus problem. My parents literally have to spoon-feed her or she can’t keep her food down.
Then there’s Annie, Orphan Annie as my mom calls her. She’s a gray cat that sleeps in a basket outside the front door. The neighbors across the street moved away and left her behind. I just spent a few minutes lying outside in the sun on the sidewalk petting her.
I thought it was going to be strange coming home to my parents’ house, full of new animals and the old ones gone. But coming home to a house of strays feels just right.