Those people are the ones that come to work with pictures of their dogs and stories about their cute exploits--well cute to them and no one else. Those people dress their pets in cutesy clothes and gives them insulin shots and prozac...
I've had pets for years but I've never felt the need to humanize the animals. You take care of them and they take care of you--end of story. But last year my dog Bear died an untimely death and the void he left in my heart was very deep. I really missed him. Several months ago--not quite a year after my dog's death a stray showed up on my porch.
My son had come home in the middle of the night and came running into my room, waking me up. "Mom, did you see that big black dog on the porch?" I got up and looked out and there was a formidable dog pacing on my porch--black as night...well it was night and I'm blind at night so he seemed black as night. Anyways I asked him how he got into the house with the dog on the front porch and he said that he dashed through the gate and into the back yard and the dog barked at him all the while. I told him I'd deal with the dog in the morning.
The next morning, incidentally we were in the midst of a heatwave, I looked out onto the porch and saw a big puppy sleeping soundly on the porch. His rib bones were showing through his chocolate fur and I went and got a bowl of water and put it out for him. He woke up and tried to run away and I called him back. Then I dug into the freezer for a pound of ground chuck that had gotten freezer burn and I was going to throw out. I nuked it and then put it on a bowl and set it out on the porch for him. He tried to come into the house but I told him no no and he went to the food, looked at me, sniffed it and carried it down to the yard where he left it and came back up on the porch and cleaned up all the crumb.
I think I fell in love with that dog at that moment. He was obviously starved but instead of scarfing the food down he savored every morsel. Once he'd eaten and drank he went to sleep on the porch again. My daughter was at her Dad's at the time and I wanted to make sure that I gave her fair warning about the dog unless it scared her, but instead I dozed and when I woke up my daughter was ambling around the house.
"Did you see that dog out there?"
"He didn't scare you? Did he bark at you?"
"Nope, I played with him for a while. Later I'll take him for a walk around the neighborhood and see if he belongs to anyone." Well that went on for about two days. Everyone knew the dog because they had chased him away from their house. My daughter began calling him Doug within an hour and despite searching for his owners we knew that he was ours.
You see Doug looks like he might have been my dog Bear's son. He's just a pup, you can tell by his paws even though he's big; shepherd, lab, chow mix. But he's been trained. He knew how to sit and to give paw. So in actuality, from day 1 I knew that Doug was here to stay--despite the fact that he ate my cellphone, clawed up my gazebo, and destroyed the back yard. He also did this:
|Doug's sweater. He wore it for approx 3 hours.|
|Doug's halloween costume (incidentally he broke out of his fence and ran up and down the street terrorizing the neighborhood, until he got tired and came home)|
I must really be crazy or crazy about that dog. And the answer is that I'm crazy about this dog that is so smart he can play tag with me, shake hands, lay with his head in my lap and get some loving and bark like a maniac at 4 am...
Well then suddenly my mom's dog had puppies and she wanted each of her daughters to take one--I told her hell no because I don't believe in PETS...it's just that having Doug is like having a piece of Bear back. But then this happened...
|Peeta with his tongue peeking out|
|Peeta and my daughter|
|the tongue that won't stay in the mouth...|
|Peeta rocking a mohawk|