Monday, March 31, 2014

Canine Vanity

I always thought of myself as a cat lover.  Growing up, I had a wonderful cat that was as much a member of the family as I was, and it was that memory that led me to push for a cat in my own household, and for Joel to make it happen back in 2006.  But it only took a month or so with Ripley before I came to realize that the things I so loved about Sammy, the cat I grew up with (like how he would snuggle up next to me for a nap, or come when called or whenever the doorbell rang) were not cat traits at all.  They are dog traits.

Ripley, likely looking for a good angle on a major artery.
The following are true cat traits: 

-  stealing and binge-eating dog food
-  refusing to vomit said food on any hard or wipe-able surface
-  deliberately and methodically trying to trip me on the stairs
-  scaling the kitchen cabinetry to walk on the unstable pot rack as if it were a swing bridge
-  chewing up shoelaces
-  chewing up power cords
-  chewing up ponytail holders
-  decisively refusing any sort of affection except for during my first 10 waking moments, when I am expected to rub his ears while he repeatedly bites me

See what I mean?  From now on, I am a dog person.

Oscar, dreaming of ways to make us happy.
I have an animal in my house that can best be described as a doormat dog, so this was not a huge transition for me.  But to ensure my loyalty, my first order of business was to visit a family friend who raises dogs, and help socialize their latest litter of black and brown lab puppies. 

This excursion was booked as a fun opportunity for the boys, but in my heart I knew that my motives were selfish.  I have never been able to ignore any baby animal, and although I once argued that kittens were cuter, I only needed to conjure up the memory of my cat eating raw chicken breasts on the kitchen counter for me to become irrationally excited about visiting the puppies.

When we got there, I immediately had a lot of anxiety about the boys being too rough and stepping or sitting on one of the tiny puppies.  Instead, however, they spent the first 20 minutes nearly catatonic with a sleeping dog in their laps.  I, on the other hand, had to repeatedly calm myself down as my brain jumped at the chance to hold that one! and that one!  I think I kissed all eight of those puppies on the mouth with nary a regret.

About the time that Cael and Graham warmed up to the dogs, I made my second self-discovery.  While my cat has no concerns for anyone but himself and my dog cares only about making me happy, holding puppies makes me vain. 

Or put simply, puppies make me take copious selfies.

If you know me sans canine, you know that I am the kind of person that hides when the camera comes out, and never, ever, likes to see photos of myself.  But if you put a puppy in my hands, I have never looked better.  I will fill my handheld camera and iPhone with blurry, not especially creative photos of me holding, kissing and rubbing noses with sleepy puppies and show them to anyone willing to look, going as far as posting them on the, ahem, internet.

Major thanks go to our friend Craig for making my journey to self-discovery possible, and to the puppies for warming my view on dogs and photography in general.  Perhaps this experience will usher in a new camera-ready time in my life.

Which gives me an idea...

Oh yes, much better.


  1. I see a new puppy in your future! You should have never kissed them won't be able to sleep until you have one!!

    1. You're probably right! Although my poor Oscar would be broken-hearted if I came home with another dog. He's already about as needy and emotionally attached as it gets... :)


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.