Children and grandchildren are very precious and cherished beings. There is very little in this world that we would not do for them. But some days, I wonder if they can compete with dogs.

I stopped by Wal Mart the other day to get a few pet supplies. The weekly 32-pound bag of dog food. Check. A 30-pound bag of cat food. Check. Dog brush, collar. Check. Check. A woman with a young boy in tow stopped me and asked how I liked that particular brand of dog food. We discussed the merits of several types, and she pulled out her phone to show a photo of the cutest Cocker Spaniel, which was her screensaver. Apparently ‘Chelsea’ was a very picky eater, and she was struggling to find something she liked. A few more minutes and I was on my way again. This was one of those rare days when I didn’t really need anything else. I pushed my buggy slowly, looking around and doing a mental inventory, but no, I was good. I headed to the checkout counter.

As I stood at the register, the cashier asked me how many dogs I had (three), and what breeds (German Shepherd and Gravel Pit Mutt). The people behind me were listening, and the woman commented, ‘Oh. I love Shepherds.” Her husband chimed in, “Love ‘em too, but I raise retrievers.” “Golden or lab,?” I asked. From there a conversation ensued over the merits of all three breeds. The customer behind them chimed in, and another clerk strolled up and added her two-cents worth. I honestly think if we were the only ones in that line, we could have chatted for an hour about the joys of dogs.

Eager to get home, I moved in the direction of the doors. The security guard stopped me to check my receipt, and as she did, she asked me what kind of dog I had. With a smile, I told her. ‘”How nice,” she said. Without even taking a breath, she continued, “My little dog is so precious. Here…” and she whips out her smart phone and proceeds to show me photos of Sparky, a tiny gray poodle. As she was flipping through photos, I noticed several of a young child. “What a cute little girl!” I said (because she really was an adorable child). “Oh, that’s my granddaughter,” she replied, as she hurried to find the next photo of Sparky.

Trust me. It took a great amount of control to keep from bursting out laughing. I plastered a polite smile on my face as I oohed and aahed over the poodle. Not that Sparky wasn’t a cutie, but because tiny four-legged creatures seemed to have nudged out two different children for the prized photo spot on a cellphone. I have no doubt that these two women loved those children. It just struck me as funny. Until I got home…

Later that evening, The Country Boy had wandered outside to get something out of his truck. He left his cellphone on the table, and when it rang, I checked to see if it was the call he had been waiting for. It wasn’t, so I let it be. A few seconds later, I happened to glance down at his phone, and almost split with laughter. His screensaver? A photo of Wilson, our German Shepherd pup.

I guess I know where I stand. Somewhere at the back of the line behind three dogs. And with my luck, a whole herd of cows come between me and the dogs.