Every once in a while I reference what I call the mangy creatures. They are our dogs. They used to be referred to as "the kids" -- then I had children, human children, and they became "the dogs". Now that I have a 2 year old and "the dogs" like to eat his toys, they have become the mangy creatures to me.
Don't worry -- they have a good life. B still calls them "the kids" and says they are "just as important and L and R" -- which I should note makes me physically ill when he says it. It doesn't matter that I do not care one iota for them because my sense of obligation to them still exists. Mainly because keeping them alive and healthy keeps B sane. I will honestly have to have him committed when his male golden dies because it WILL be that bad. I think he will mourn Sonny more than any human he has lost in recent years.
I should also note that Sonny is 10 this January! That is OLD for a golden. Yes, he could live another 5 years and very well may, but the female golden, Dixie, isn't going to make it another 2 -- she is only 8 but has had a rough life (hit by a car, tree fell on her and she is FAT -- no matter how much we walk her). As much as I don't like the dogs, I still fear their demise more than I dislike them.
Oh and L, thinks they are the greatest things ever and they are so stinking patient with him. He uses them as a jungle gym and they have never once shown any aggression to him at all. R is still not totally aware of them, but I am sure they will be just as great to R as they are to L.
So, lest you think the poor dogs don't have a good life, let me assure you -- even though I call them the mangy creatures, they are the most spoiled, pampered and loved mangy creatures out there.