4/15/2013

Puppy Love

I am, by nature, a cat person. I adore cats, their mystery, their aloofness, when they actually come when I call them, when they grace me with their presence and attention. I feel special, blessed. 

I grew up with dogs, loved them, adored them, but when I reached adulthood and marriage, Rick and I primarily stuck with cats. We had three dogs over the years, and none of them was a good fit. One ran away any chance she got, which given that her name was Chancey, makes sense. We got her as an adult, a german shepherd who wanted to go back to her home. We chased her constantly. When we were transferred to Germany we relinquished her to a no-kill shelter in hopes she'd find a home that would work for her.

We also took on my grandmother's dog after she passed away--as disagreeable an animal as I've ever had--her name may have been Honey, but Vinegar would have suited her better. One hot afternoon, I went out to check on Chancey and her and found her feet up. Not a good afternoon, burying her with the help of the next door neighbor into the dry, hard ground.

And then, many years later, when we came here, settled permanently, we got Max, another rescue animal, a Jack Russell terror. And I mean terror. I loved Max, but we could not have picked an animal that fit worse than he did with our boy. Bobby is not a dog person and that dog made him retreat to his room faster than the threat of school work or chores could. We lost him a year or so after we got him, his intestines twisted, and we had to put him to sleep. My brother Kurt brought his body home for us, and he, Bobby and I buried Max under a mesquite tree in the backyard, digging into the hard, hard ground. Why is the ground always so damn hard?

That was nine years ago...Nine years we chose to love on my parents' dogs rather than try again. And we mourned as one after the other we said goodbye to their dogs. The dalmations Abby and Sissy, sweet dogs...Scooter, Cookie...as we also said goodbye to our cats: Shadow, Ibit, Frankie, Aphrodite...

And now both sides have only a few old animals, with the majority being young animals. And I think my parents, Rick and I breathe a sigh of relief to know that we have a buffer. 

Yes, they have Onie, who is ten, and we have Mabel who is at least 12 and her daughter Lucy who is ten, but the rest are young and hopefully will be with us for many years.

Recently, my parents got a Yorkie, Izu, who is as cute as can be, and Rick's heart melted. Finally, we had found the dog breed for him. So a few months after my parents got Izu, my mom got us Samantha, the sweetest, baddest puppy ever. Oh, hearts melted and the girls and Bobby, who were still skittish around dogs, became enamored of this puppy.

Samantha brings out the softer side in Rick, has us all calling dibs on holding the puppy and feeling jealousy that her person is Rick.

I watched her this morning, after Rick had left for work. She sat for an hour near the door watching and waiting for him to come back. Bless her heart...such devotion and love melts the heart.

There's a world of different between cats and dogs--even when you are matched with the right cats and the right dogs for you. Oh, puppy kisses, that's something that takes a heart ache and soothes it in a very sloppy way...but it's out of this world as a balm.

Puppy love...we should all be so lucky to have that. I'd forgotten what it was like since the last dog that I felt was really mine was a dachsund, KC, from my childhood, some thirty years ago. Well, I know it again. And what a blessing that is.







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