Saturday, September 26, 2009

In The Beginning...

Well, some would say it started with this one, Panda. What is "it" you ask? It is a learned love of dogs.

I grew up in a "cat household". Yes, I was deathly allergic, but we were a "cat household" nonetheless. My mother absolutely loved cats, and it's not that she loved me less than them, but she knew that through constant and prolonged exposure to the feline fur and dander I would eventually build up some immunity. And I did. Until we got a new cat and then I would have to get used to the new one's unique coat.

I used this philosophy in my adult life and have successfully owned four cats through the years. All different types of fur, each needing their own adjustment period. Yep, I was a confirmed cat person. Until... I met HIM. My future husband. He had only grown up with dogs. It was a true stumbling block in our relationship. Could we get along? Would we make the effort to indulge the other's pet preferences?

Enter Ziggy, the German Shepherd. Of course, when we found him and his litter mates abandoned in a stairwell in a building at The University of Florida, we had no idea he was a German Shepherd. We picked him because he was the only one to stand and greet us. It wasn't until months later his nose started lengthening and he got the distinctive markings. And, a big deal to us, his ears stood up. Since Ziggy was our first child, he got oodles of attention. He went everywhere with us and he was our baby. Hours were spent on training techniques which paid off in the long run, because he was the most obedient dog. His greatest talent, in his "father's" eyes was his flawless ability to catch a frisbee in the air. Ziggy was with us for 12 years, through both of our children's births and three cats.

Next came what I like to refer to as the Lost Lab Years. One day about 6 months after Ziggy died, my son and husband returned home from a mysterious errand with a squirming yellow furball. Lab puppies are the cutest puppies you will ever see and I know why they were created that way. It's how God has protected them from the frustration and outrage of their owners. Where Ziggy was obedient, Jake, our yellow lab, was mischevious. Ziggy could look at your face and know exactly what you wanted from him. Nothing ever seemed to sink in easily with Jake - we never went as far as to call him dumb, hey, he was a blonde.
Jake's face, although beautiful, was just a way to display his goofy expression and make you forgive him. What could we possibly have to forgive him for ? One set of outdoor PVC furniture, one screen porch, one cable box ripped from the cinderblock siding of our home, countless tool handles, doorframes, floor tiles, car seats. These were Jake's conquests and the only ones I can recall off the top of my head. But, one look in those beautiful eyes, and we forgave him again and again. He was our "special child" and we loved him for 13 years. He was a four cat dog.

So, it is possible for someone to be both a dog and cat person. But what does it take to be a Boston person?


KarenSue said...

Glad your here! What we do for our babies.

Wendy said...

Great descriptions I laughed out loud sometimes. I look forward to future postings. =)