I was never supposed to like dogs; this was something I decided a long time ago. Cats are clean and self-contained. They don’t give a damn about you or your problems. They just want a warm place to sleep for 20 hours a day and to be let out to do periodic territory checks. They poop in a box in the house and then cover it up. All you are required to do is feed them and empty their box once in awhile. You can leave them for a few days at a time and they don’t care. They may be glad when you come home, but they’ll never let you know it.
Tink: Supreme Ruler of the House
When my son was a junior in high school I reluctantly adopted a dog that showed up at my mom’s house out in the country. I was prepared not to like him very much. I vowed that if he didn’t get along with the cats, then he’d have to go. This attitude lasted about one week. Every day I came home from work and the dog was happy to see me. My son, on the other hand, would have preferred me to stay at work 24/7, and never come home except to replenish the food supply. I did not take this personally; I had the exact same thoughts about my parents when I was 16 years old, which was also around the same time I stopped talking to them. It was also around the same time when my mother got a dog.
I remember looking at my son and wondering what happened to the little guy that wanted to marry me when he was in 3rd grade, or the baby that I spent hours holding and rocking until he fell aseleep, or the child who lived for a nightly reading from his massive Bearenstain Bears collection. Suddenly he was gone forever. I guess I was ripe for a dog without even knowing it because suddenly here was a living creature who wanted to cuddle and kiss me. Me! He followed me around the house like a 2-year old, including to the bathroom. Talk about bringing back old memories of not having a private bathroom moment for the first 3 years of my son’s life. Good times. And at night, this little ball of fur would jump up on the bed and lie right up against my back, like a little heater. I was absolutely smitten.
After a few weeks Julian started to get a little jealous of the dog; and in fact, to this day he’s never completely warmed up to the dog. I never cared much for my mom’s dog either; and as much as I understood that I was pushing her away, I also couldn’t stop myself. And such is the nature of growing up.
Here are some things about dogs that used to irritate me:
Pooping in the yard
Here’s how I feel about those things now:
Dogs are like children – yours always smells OK
No face-licking. Cause that’s just gross
Dogs poop in the yard. If you live with a man, they will inevitably step into the poop and track it into the house. This is fact of life. Deal with it.
Dogs bark. Deal with it.
I owe my dog a debt of gratitude for being there when I most needed him and helping me get through those last two high school years without going off the deep end of depression. Coco has also graciously allowed the older male cat to retain his dominent position in the household, which makes us all very happy. So if you see a middle-aged lady driving down the street in a little Ford Focus with a dog sitting on her lap, that’s probably me and Coco. We’ll both be smiling.
Coco: Faithful lap dog and Protector of the Universe