My column on Meridian Magazine today features two historical books dealing with women who pushed for the right to fulfill jobs generally held by men. One is based on the fictionalized life of a real woman; the other is based on a general attitude and an entirely fictional woman.
At the present time my husband and I are caring for our daughter's dog while she and her family are on a little vacation. I grew up on farms and ranches where dogs were considered livestock and an important means of managing sheep or cattle. We had dogs and I loved working with them; I wouldn't want to move a flock of sheep without one or two good dogs. The first time I sat down to dinner at a home where their dog lived in the house and hung around the table at mealtime to beg for tidbits I felt a little sick. To me, it was kind of like bringing a cow inside to share the family meal. Over the years I've grown accustomed to dogs almost everywhere I go, but I still dislike them anywhere near the dinner table or in grocery stores. Once I attended a conference at a fancy Washington DC hotel and because the other delegate from my state was blind, I sat at a table for meals with her and a group of blind people. There were six German Shepherds beneath our table. It almost made me giggle remembering my first reaction to a dog under the dinner table. Our guest dog likes to sit beside my chair while I eat, but since the weather has been pretty good, I generally give her a treat and put her in the backyard until dinner is over. He's really a very good dog. He was trained as a service dog, but since the person he was trained to assist is no longer here, he has adopted my daughter and her son. The funny thing is, whenever he is around me he stays close, sniffs me a lot, and gets really alarmed if my blood glucose is too high or too low. I guess he can tell I'm diabetic and considers it his job to look after me.