Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Late-Blooming Dog Lover

If you are born one way or the other, I'm pretty sure I was meant to be a dog lover. As with most things it took me a while to figure this out. Allow me to explain.

I had tropical fish and hamsters growing up. I would have enjoyed both more had they not been banished to the darkest corner of the basement. The fish were interesting, and I've had aquariums on and off ever since. Hamsters were too prone to escape, and in the end, not all that cuddly and more than a little smelly.

Soon after I moved out I wanted a dog of my own. But my third floor apartment and the fact pets were prohibited made dog ownership problematic. A coworker had kittens, so I got a cat. In fact over the next 15 or 20 years I got several cats: Damien, Mehitabel, Penelope, Damien II (The Sequel), and Sadie. All had their good points but Penelope was the best of the bunch.

Now we have little chihuahuas, Tico (15 months/7 pounds) and Toodles (8 months/4 pounds). They are infinitely more demanding than any of the pets I've had before. But worth it.

Tico is a sweet, well-behaved little dog and a very positive role model for his younger half-sister. He's very friendly and gets along with most dogs and all people. He's also smart. He knows all his toys by name and is quick to learn new tricks.

Toodles gets sweeter all the time. She's a talker with an extensive variety of sounds. She can express frustration a dozen different ways. She won't let me out of her sight, and stays at my feet, by my side or in my lap as much as possible. I'd take her with me everywhere if I could get by with it.

The two of them together are a constant source of entertainment. They wrestle, play keep away, fetch and tug of war, and chase each other in mad circles around the house. Whatever the game they follow a set of complex rules only they understand. Adorable.

Never say never, but I really don't see me ever getting another cat. The dogs wouldn't approve. And I'm pretty sure I'll always have a dog. Why wouldn't I? I'm a born dog lover and...

The Crotchety Old Man

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