Thursday, March 29, 2012

gone to the dogs.

When asked about the people I know, I tend to rattle off a checklist of personality traits... just the first few things that come to mind.

Went to Baylor and graduated with us, engaged at Christmas, just got back from Haiti on that mission trip, works in Dallas for that marketing firm.

Grew up in Alabama, dad was in the Army, moved here when she was 14, moving to LA for a job.

Went to high school together, she spent time in New Orleans, working on her master's at UT now.

Anyone who knows me at all--whether it be from high school or college, the blogging world, and especially if they're a fixture in my everyday life--knows I'm a dog person. Scratch that--to say I'm a "dog person" is a pathetic understatement. I'm not a questionable, scary obsessive dog lady, but my puppies are a huge, irreplaceable part of my life. My nutshell bio would read something like this:

Lived in Waco most of her life. Military family--oldest and only girl. Went to Baylor, now an event planner for Baylor. Completely and freakishly in love with her dogs.

My family has had dogs for as long as I can recall. We bred dalmatians (Freckles and Speckles. yes, I'm serious), and I can't reminisce about my childhood without remembering wriggly puppies peppering our backyard. Going to the lake for camping trips, or out to the ballpark for baseball games--our dogs were always with us. We transitioned to fox terriers (Bentley and Sherlock--and now my parents have Lila Belle), and when I was in college, my parents surprised me with Lucy, my yorkie-maltese. I was smitten with that little dog from day one.

Unbeknownst to us at the time, the breeder fibbed about having given her, her shots... and I had to put her down, due to distemper, just barely two years after I got her. Easily one of the worst stages of my life. I thought I'd never recover from losing her so suddenly, but time truly heals... as does the addition of a newbie.

About a year later, I felt ready and got my little maltese, Maizie. The funniest thing was that so, so much of Lucy's personality was wrapped up in my new, little fluffball. I got her around Christmas of my senior year of college, and she went everywhere withe me. She quickly fell in love with car rides and pink clothes (maybe that was more me), and swiftly learned how to solidly define the term "puppy dog eyes" in her attempts to garner table food. 

Recently, I realized that Maizie has been with me through a all my recent milestones... college graduation, moving to Alabama, moving to Dallas, losing my job and moving home, getting my dream job, and throughout my entire relationship with ST. That little dog has seen it all... she's also logged more miles in a car than any animal I know. Homegirl loves a roadtrip!

And then I started thinking about another one. I convinced myself that Maizie needed a playmate. That caring for two isn't that much more involved or expensive than just a solo pup. And wouldn't you know? I get a text from my aunt, in October, that her friend needed to find a home for a 10-week old yorkiepoo puppy, and did I know anyone who might be interested? Ha... oh, did I?!

And then Milo came home to us.


I was a little nervous initially, wondering what the transition would be like. I hadn't had a puppy in quite a while. Maizie was accustomed to a one-woman show... this feisty kindergarten pup was a foreign concept. For the first couple days, there was a bit of a stand-off... Maiz hid under my bed, and would slink out only to eat and lay in my lap, and growl possessively anytime her baby brother neared the scene. By day three, they were sleeping side by side.

 And now?? I have to split them up sometimes, they play so. damn. much. All the time, chasing each other, room-to-room, tug-of-war, barking in unison at their headquarters at the living room windowsill. They're inseparable. 

 [even my friends know their personalities well enough to dole out treats to them.]


People who have animals are always so much more endearing to me, more relatable, warmer, in a sense. There's a common niche that is inexplicable, it's so hollowly understood as being a mutual pet owner, but the link is so, so much stronger than that. My little dogs are two of my best friends. They excitedly anticipate my arrival everyday from work. There's hardly a moment when we're in separate rooms--they patiently lay on my bathmat when I'm in the shower. Milo nestles on my pillow, Maizie sleeps at my hip. They'd never dream of betraying me, or judging me... they're the first to lap up my tears when I'm down, and just as eager to jump up and down with me when life hands me a big ol' bowl of happy. I'm convinced that having animals teaches you how to love to your fullest... how to be forgiving and how to receive love. Our pets teach us how to live, how to slurp up every ounce of happiness that is right in front of our noses. Life is just better with a fuzzy mess of personality playing co-pilot.

I'm normally not a huge fan of Facebook-endorsed forwards and whatnot, but I saw this today, via FabFitFun, and it inspired this post. My puppies are such a huge part of my life, I can't believe I hadn't posted something like this before. The checklist is a little cheesy, but there's a lot of truth to it... so many people don't know how to adequately care for animals. I won't go all Cesar Milan on you, but I totally subscribe to a lot of this. I was raised to believe pets are your family... you don't get rid of an animal because it doesn't "work" with your lifestyle, or whatever. You learn to understand, you do what you can to train... and yes, as totally hokey as it sounds--your dog (or cat) isn't going to give up on you. Nor should you give up on him (or her!).

10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You...
  • My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be painful, so remember that before you get me.
  • Give me time to understand what you want of me.
  • Place your trust in me--it is crucial to my well being.
  • Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
  • You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.
  • Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
  • Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
  • Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
  • Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.
  • Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I cannot bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death.
  • Remember that I love you. 

Do you have pets? Did you grow up with pets? If you could have any pet in the world, what would you have? 

1 comment:

  1. This is so sweet! I love dogs, and especially mine! I try not to blog too much/post too many pics of mine-Stella, so people don't get annoyed, but, she's like my child! The "10 things your dog would tell you" is so true!


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