Up until recently, I was a confirmed ‘Dog Person’. I only ever had dogs growing up, and cats remained somewhat of a mystery to me. (Yes, I was one of those people that approached cats like you would a dog- ruffling the hair on the top of their heads with vigorous motions and yelling ‘Hey kitty kitty kitty kitty!!!!’. Needless to say, most cats never did take to me.) But then Grizzly came along. He’s the most affectionate, cuddly, smart, clean, funny cat on the planet. If he could talk, I think he’d be the gay best friend I never had.
Growing up, I had a black lab-collie mix named ‘Buster’. He was that dog. The one we got as a puppy when I was five and died of old age when I was 19. He chased us around the house when we were little and always seemed to find us when we were feeling down so we could cry into his fur.
In seventh grade, I wanted one of those cute smaller dogs I could ‘take with me everywhere’!! So as a Christmas surprise, my parents came home with ‘Buffy’- a black baby shitzu puppy.
'Buffy' turned out to be a fluffy-haired demon spawned from hell.
Forget about taking her anywhere. She yapped after everyone’s ankles, her teeth were like mini razor blades, you could never see her eyes (which I’m pretty sure glowed red when we weren’t looking) and she got more high maintenance with age. When I went off to college, I ended up giving Buffy to a good family who took in foster kids and I like to think she lived out the rest of her life getting the love and attention she needed.
When I got back from a wedding in October, my husband had a ‘surprise’ for me. He’d agreed to take in a Cane Corso puppy. A friend of the family’s dog had a litter- pretty much pure bred except for a bit of lab on the mother’s side.
I tried to warn my husband when he showed me the picture of our newest member of the family. ‘ The dog’s going to be huge. It will shed. It will smell bad. And we’re going to have to take it out on walks several times a day. It will destroy our back yard. It will cost ten arms and legs in vet bills.’
My hubby wasn’t havin’ it. This was his dream dog- man’s best friend! OH- and he showed me this photo:
Yeah- I know. How the hell do you say 'no' to that?
‘Rudy’ will be seven months old mid April. He’s getting huge. He sheds like you wouldn’t believe. His odor is indescribable. We finally got him to do his business on our three walks a day instead of doing it in the backyard, which, as you guessed it- he totally demolished. It cost more then ten arms and legs between vet bills and obedience training (the dog will end up weighing more than I do. If he didn’t learn ‘heel’- his force would have me defying the laws of gravity behind him as he did what he wanted to do, regardless of his five-foot-three owner’s wishes)
Despite it all, I don’t regret my (okay fine, my husband’s- because, you know, he totally guilt tripped me into saying yes) decision. Like my ol’ dog Buster, Rudy is ‘one of the good ones’. He’s loyal, intelligent, loving and obedient and having him for my kids to grow up with is worth every ounce of money, manual labor, and stench.
What domestic animal shapes/ed your life or childhood?