Yesterday’s video of Spaz chasing the birds got me to thinking how much my pets enjoy the gardens I’ve created around our home. Gardening with pets can be a challenge at best, but the joy they bring to our lives has it’s rewards. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy when the dogs dig holes in my yard or the cat lays on one of my favorite plants, but for the most part they really do very little damage that is irreparable to my garden. Holes can be filled in, plants will bounce back if not this year than the next and life will go on. Just as I enjoy sitting on my patio enjoying the sights, sounds and fragrances of the gardens, so do my dogs and cat. Spaz the terrier spends the entire day from sunrise to sunset exploring the gardens and she is very careful to weave in and out around my plantings. She also enjoys the excitement of chasing the birds, squirrels, mice or whatever else happens to wander into her domain. My beagle “Misty” enjoys lounging in the grass under the trees as well as sitting on the bench in my Arbor Garden. Which is funny, because I think my dogs and cat get more pleasure out of the garden then I do at times. While their exploring and using their five senses to absorb everything around them, I’m too busy thinking about what needs to be done next instead of just sitting back and relaxing. The cat “Mooch” spends the majority of his time in the front yard garden beds because Spaz and him haven’t come to a understanding yet. He loves to lay in the mulch under my Butterfly Bush, drink out of the birdbath, and sleep behind the daylillies in the Border Bed. The benefits are he keeps the squirrels and rabbits from visiting my garden and devouring my plants. In addition he also chases other cats away from his territory which means my beds aren’t being used as large litter boxes by the neighborhood cats and the funny part is he doesn’t do it either. All of my pets were rescue animals. We adopted Misty from the SPCA ten years ago this month, the cat was a stray that I fed and he stayed, and we got Spaz from the SPCA February of this year. We adopted her shortly after we lost our terrier mix Pepper last fall. Pepper was a rescue dog as well, my dad saved him from abuse in Ohio about 8 years ago and gave him to us. I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without these little members of our family. They give us unconditional love and affection on a daily basis. Our lives are richer because of them.