The truth is, if my dogs need a place to rest, sleep, or simply keep an eye on me while I write, that’s fine with me. They are accustomed to being close to me and have learned to take long naps either in the chair or on their two beds near my desk. Whenever I jump up, they’re quick to wag their tails as if in approval of whatever I’ve just written. If they hear the doorbell ring or the UPS truck at the gate, they’ll run downstairs, barking in unison. They are a force to reckon with; all three send out the message that visitors are not welcome. When the coast is clear, they return upstairs, reassume their places, sigh, and close their eyes.
In Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of A Dog she posits that families with dogs resemble more of a gang than the traditional pack: “If we are a gang, we are a merrily navel-gazing gang, worshipping nothing but the maintenance of our gang itself.” My dogs are cooperative and respectful. As much as I require my own undisturbed space when writing, they understand that they belong in it and are there to protect it.