I love dogs.
Like… I really love dogs.
I can identify most common dog breeds on sight, and can guess at mix-breeds pretty regularly too. I volunteer on the weekends at the Humane Society as a dog-walker. I used to watch “Dog Whisperer” and “Its Me or the Dog” pretty often too – when I still had cable. When I hear people talking at work about their pets – I immediately have to jump into the conversation. I used to intern at a vet clinic in high school too – because I couldn’t get enough of dogs.
I didn’t grow up with any dogs though. My family was Navy – and we moved every 18 months. Mom didn’t think it was fair to move a dog that often (though we did it to the cats – the cats didn’t seem to mind). I remember begging and begging for a dog every Christmas – my parents finally got me a giant stuffed dog one year (it was not the same – though I still have the stuffed dog to this day).
We finally adopted a dog my senior year of high school. She was… very broken. We were her fifth family. She had scars littering her body. She had a brand mark on her ear. The kennel she was staying at, the one my mother and I volunteered at, had signs all over her doors “do not wear hats, “don’t walk without a choke-chain”, “no men”, etc. Her name is Abbey – my parents have owner her for six years now. And though I only lived with her the last year I was at home – she reached a special place in heart that will make me always love dogs.
Now, remember all of that when I say this next line.
I hate little dogs.
Little dogs themselves are fine. Some of them perfectly lovely. I actually fell in love with a Papillion right before I was set to attend college – my mom didn’t let me adopt her. We also fostered chihauhaus and a miniature Australian Shepard in the past. They were all very sweet – but didn’t bark in those high little voices. Its really the constant need to bark, to assert their dominance, that drives me so batty. And so many of them suffer “little dog syndrome”. And it drives me up the wall. I cannot stand the yap, yap, yapping.
I am reminded of this because I recently volunteered to watch a colleague’s dog. She looks very sweet, but oh my gosh. Stop barking! Stop whining!
I currently don’t own a dog – just a very mellow cat. My first dog – my own dog, not my parent’s- passed away about 5 months ago. It was devastating. She was the perfect dog. Or at least – perfect for me. It’s been a struggle healing after her passing.
I’m starting to look to adopt another – likely from the same organization I adopted my last girl from. They know me, and know the heart break I recently went through. But I’ve also told them I want to take it slow. Its been a confusing time for me – exciting but also a little bit melancholy.
And I don’t want to rush into anything – I want a dog that will thrive in my home and that I will be able to love for a long time.
This weekend was a good reminder- take it slow. I want to make the right choice.
And if my choices are a yappy little dog or none at all?
I’ll stick with the cat.