My wife came back from Arizona with gifts for the dogs, but nothing for me.

It’s OK. I’ve known my place in line for quite some time now.

When she finally made it home around 4 Friday morning, I could hear her talking to the dogs and them talking back. All three were very excited to see each other after four days apart.

I also heard Penny and Ollie chewing on something.

I figured either they got into something they shouldn’t have or they were being spoiled by my wife again, who probably bought them new toys.

At any rate, I was not getting up that early to see which one it was.

When I came home later that day for lunch, my wife was just getting up. She sat down on the couch, and the dogs were right next to her.

There is no question, the dogs love her more than me. They love me, but they love, love her.

I have the cat. The cat likes me for some reason — the cat who only wants attention when it wants it.

The cat’s food is by the sink in the laundry room, so the dogs do not eat it. I have to lift her up to her bowl several times a day. I guess because I feed her I’m her favorite. Makes sense, actually.

She does her own thing, as cats do, but the dogs get a lot of attention.

While I see no sense in buying them any toys they chew up immediately, my wife spoils them over and over again.

My job is to come along later and pick up the stuffing and the plastic squeakers they have ripped out of the toys.

You don’t dare walk across our floors in the dark because there is no doubt you will step on one of their 10-plus bones she has bought them.

If there's an empty paper towel roll or wrapping paper roll, it’s immediately given to Penny and Ollie, who destroy it.

Later, I pick up the soggy, slobber-soaked cardboard and throw it away.

I think they enjoy doing this to me.

Pets in our family are part of the family, and sometimes more of the family than I am.

Granted, we all spoil the dogs. They are pampered to the point of ridiculousness.

There are times I’m sitting in a living room chair, and they come up to me and whine, wanting me to get up so they can take the chair.

If I have to get up for anything, they will hop up and take the chair. My wife laughs and tells me I didn't say saved.

It’s a conspiracy.

I really don’t mind. Penny and Ollie greet me at the door every time I come home, even though hanging out of their mouths is the latest toy my wife bought.

 

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.