Dog Days

I love dogs. As the cool kids say, “Dogs are my jam”. I especially love black labs. They are spunky, hyper, playful dogs and loyal until the end. My dog, Lily is a black lab and 6 years old, but still acts like a puppy. She likes to see how many tennis balls she can shove in her mouth. The record is 3.

I’ve always been a dog person more than a cat person. We had a dog growing up which I remember from when I was little. It was a some sort of German Shepherd mix. But when he died, we ended up with cats. But if I ever visited anyone with a dog, I would attract dogs. I was like the dog whisperer. Except for those mean Rottweiler’s my brother had. Those dogs scared me half to death. Not a fan of Rotties.

It’s not that I don’t like cats, but I’m allergic. I didn’t used to be when I was growing up. In fact, we had a whole bunch of cats. We lived in St. Paul in an old house with window wells. The Mom cat, which my mom named “Mama Kitty” had all her kitties in a window well of our house. Upon inspection, my mom found the kittens and presumed that a few had died. She threw them in our trash. My brother heard meowing a few hours later and realized the kittens had survived. My mom was real clever with the names, so she named one of the kittens, “garbage can”. I dunno. My mom had a weird naming system.

The cat had a litter of babies, but we only kept Mama Kitty and one her babies, which we named DC. Another brilliant idea to use initials because the cat belonged to my brother Dana. So DC stood for Dana’s Cat (not District of Columbia). Even though the cat was his, I took care of it mostly until it ran away and probably died because it never came home again. And that sad story would’ve been the end of my cat days, except I ended up having a few different cats as an adult until I realized I had developed allergies to them. Oiy.

So I’m a dog person these days. The amount of hair and dog poop sometimes gets on my nerves, but otherwise I love my fur baby. She’s a great dog. I’ll be sad when the day comes and she dies. She’s really a great dog and so fun to have around. At times, she’s my only friend. She likes to cuddle next to me when I’m sad. Every night, we have a routine. I get ready for bed. My husband is a bit of a night owl, so Lily comes and plops next to me on the bed. She lets me pet her for 5-10 minutes. I talk to her and tell her what a good dog she is and rub her belly, ears, and head. Then I get sleepy and she moves to the end of the bed. When my husband arrives, she jumps off the bed and goes in her own bed. That’s our thing.

This is my baby:

She’s a pretty smart dog, but she has a giant flaw. She can get really anxious. The one thing that always brings on anxiety is my Father in law. I have no idea why this is, but she hates him. She sees him and growls, hides under the table, won’t walk anywhere near him, and jumps on my lap to save her (a 70 lb dog is not a lap dog!). The only thing I can think is that my Father in law is not a dog person. He’s a cat person. And although he never treats Lily poorly, I think she’s pretty smart and can sense he doesn’t like her.

It’s quite a show to watch them. But my poor dog shakes and drools whenever he’s around. I feel bad for the dog and bad for him because there’s not much he can do to get my dog to like him. She’s pegged him as enemy #1 and I fear that she’ll forever conclude that he’s bad news. But my dog acts like a totally different dog when my Father in law comes around. I love my dog dearly, but when she acts insane with anxiety, I kind of want to kick her out of the house and get a new dog. She acts like a nut job with all her barking, growling, and drooling.

Overall though, she’s a pretty good girl and brings all of us lots of laughter and joy. If I see a dog, I usually want to greet it and pet it. I am one of those annoying dog people.

What about you? Do you prefer dogs or cats? Or something else?