Must Love Dogs?

I love dogs. But sometimes they hate me. Other times, they love me back. Some even want to hump me.

These were not my first waking thoughts this morning. Actually, I was thinking about men. Then for some reason, I starting going over my history with dogs:

The Barker
When I was young, my parents would take me to visit some family friends who had a barky, miniature Schnauzer. Oh, how I hated going to that house. I could hear that dog barking even as we got out of the car. And as soon as we entered the house, The Barker would single me out. I’d sit still as a statue on their sofa and that grandpa-faced dog would come up, look me in the eye and say, That’s right. This is my house…yes, I own this m*#!@#f$*!#$. Thinking about getting all crazy up in it? Oh? Do you think you’d like being dead, little girl?

I swear, that’s the word-for-word translation.

Devil Dog
One sunny day, I went out for a ride on my banana seat bike, wearing my brand new, glossy black, fake fur coat. Every seven year-old had one in the 70’s right? I pedaled out of our cul-de-sac, happy as a girl wearing a fancy fur coat can be. When I returned, Devil Dog appeared out of nowhere.

oh, shit.

I didn’t know that word at that age, but I’m sure I was thinking something close to it as soon as he started chasing after me. I pedaled for my life as he caught up to me and took a bite out of the back of my now not-so-brand-new, black, fake fur coat. Sensing victory, DD stopped his pursuit.

I experienced two things that day: sheer terror and my first heartbreak over fashion.

Schizo
When I first started dating my ex, his family had a toy fox terrier. Cute little dog, but you could never tell if it was in a good mood or if it was about to go loco on you until it was too late. Already see where this story is going?

The dog was secured by a leash in their front yard when I walked up to the house. When she saw me, she started running happily towards me. Awww…how adorable. Behind her, my ex appeared from the front door of the house, and I waved to him. The dog had a much longer lead line than I had anticipated and when she jumped up to greet me, she bit my calf.

Looking back, I think The Barker put out those two hits on me.

George
Last year, when I was still living in L.A., I discovered that my neighbor’s big, black Lab would howl and bark whenever his owner left the house. This would go on for hours in the middle of the night when the owner would leave for a fishing or hunting trip. I decided to go speak to him after he returned from one of these trips.

I explained the situation and the neighbor kindly apologized, unaware that his dog got into such a state during his absence. “Want to meet him?” Mr. Neighbor asked me. Sure, I said. I love dogs when they’re not howling or foaming at the mouth. He led an energetic George out to my driveway and I knew I didn’t want that dog jumping on me. He was huge. I am small.

George took off down the street and Mr. Neighbor ran after him. And then George came galloping back. Towards me.

oh, shit.

Before I could react properly, George jumped me from behind and wrapped his dog legs around me. I fell as I tried to pry him off of me, but his paws snapped back into place like furry bands of steel.

Push him off!!” Mr. Neighbor shouted as he came running.

No…I want to be humped by your dog in the middle of my driveway. Of course I’m trying to push him off, you idiot!

Mr. Idiot Neighbor finally pulled him off of me. When I stood, I laughed the whole thing off and he had the nerve to suggest we have dinner together.

No, thanks. I don’t want to be humped by you, either.

Nikki the Wonder Dog
Nikki was the sweetest, most well-behaved dog I had ever and still, have ever met. The ex and I dogsat her for a whole summer while her owners were out of the country. She bonded with me. She would sleep on the floor by my side of the bed, follow me around the house, and whenever I came home, whether I was gone for five minutes or five hours, she would greet me with the extreme happiness that only dogs possess. She would never beg for food, and she wouldn’t steal anything off of your dinner plate even if you left it on the floor.

When the summer was over and we drove her back to her own house, we were on our way to meet friends for a road trip to Mexico. Nikki settled herself on top of all the gear we had packed into the little Nissan. Our timing was good – just as we pulled up, our friends arrived home from their long flight from Malaysia. At first confused, Nikki slowly remembered her true owners and then gave them one of her happy dog dances. When the ex and I said our goodbyes and headed to our car, Nikki followed me.

Heartbreak. I think I cried all the way to Mexico.

sigh.

I am now thinking about my next post about men. Since I’m kind of lazy, I might just borrow the opening from this one:

I love men. But sometimes they don’t love me. Other times, they love me back. Some even want to hump me.

It’s kind of scary how interchangeable it is, isn’t it?

Farewell

2000 - 2012

2000 – 2012

I seem to be saying a lot of farewells this month.

We had to put our cat to sleep a few days ago.  The tumors in her throat began to hamper her breathing and her ability to eat, and her already petite frame began to shrink more rapidly than it had in the past month.  It was difficult to say goodbye, because this would be forever.

My ex and I have been talking about her, sharing many memories of what a good cat she was, despite the numerous animals, reptiles and insects she brought into the house.  Birds, lizards, mice, rats, crickets…  I started to get used to seeing these creatures – I wasn’t even too shocked when, one morning, I found a live mouse curled up in one of my running shoes.  Prolific hunting seemed to be in her DNA, so she was just doing her job.  Granted, she took it too far sometimes, like the time she dropped a dead rat at our feet while we were entertaining guests (I guess she had gotten the memo that it was a potluck), and another time when she attacked one of our friend’s dreadlocks as it hung over the back of the sofa.

She was the boss of me.  She would use her Jedi mind control to get me to feed her, and sometimes I would find myself opening up another can if she turned her nose up at the first one.  I would wonder, she will eat a rat’s ass but not this delicious tuna and chicken medley??  But I obeyed because her will was stronger than mine.  To keep me in line, sometimes she would raise her paw and hit me on the back of my calf as I walked by her or even sprint past me and do the same if I was standing still.

Animals never live long enough.  But the joy of having her in my life is something for which I will always be grateful.

Forever.