Sunday, June 17, 2007

Good Dog

When I was younger, I was afraid of dogs. I'm told this was not always the case, and that when I was very young, I got along well with my uncle's dog Buddy, a white German shepherd, and rode him around like a horse. I've seen a picture, but I don't actually remember Buddy. My earliest recalls of dogs are all laced with fear. I don't know why or what happened, and ultimately it doesn't really matter. Emotions do not need reasons to be real. I was okay with small dogs, because I could kind of trick myself into regarding them as strangely-shaped cats. However, large dogs ("dog dogs") were always an object of fear.

After college, I dated then lived with a woman who had a golden retriever. (Yes, I moved in with her after we broke up. Don't ask.) Blaze was a good-natured if hyperactive dog, and living with him for two years got me over my fear of dogs. And I will always thank him for that. However, I never really liked him. And in general, even if I was no longer afraid, I still overall disliked dogs and preferred not to be around them. At best, with well-mannered dogs, I was indifferent, a definite step above repulsion. (This all, by the way, is very similar to the way I react to babies and toddlers--which is why I do not and will never have children.)

Well, last night, I actually met a dog I liked--genuinely liked. This was a strange, foreign emotion for me.

I went to a friend's birthday party, and this household--in addition to a having two permanent dogs and several cats--takes in foster dogs. These are rescued animals who need a temporary home until they can be adopted. My friend and her wife are superb with animals, and they can take in dogs with social and behavioral problems and through love, persistence, and careful training, teach them how to be good dogs, so that they can safely and happily go into a new home.

They currently have two six-month-old foster dogs, presumably littermates, Taffy and Snickers. I look at them and think their names are reversed, because Snickers is the light-colored one that makes me think of honey taffy, and Taffy is the dark one that makes me think of a Snickers candy bar. And I had my usual don't-care-much-for reaction to Taffy, but Snickers was different. It was love at first sight with those dark, dark eyes in that pale face, and the one ear that stuck up while the other flopped down. Several times when I was sitting down, he came and lay on my feet. He was very gentle and mellow, and I realized that I was truly enjoying his company and I missed him when he wandered off. I petted him, fed him pieces of my hamburger bun, and for a moment actually wished I had a house with a yard, so I could adopt him. Imagine me actually liking a dog enough to want to live with him! My friend called it a miracle. But Snickers was so sweet, and he kept coming back to me, so I think he liked me too.

Of course, the reality is that I have a one bedroom apartment and two cats, so adopting a dog is impossible. Also, it might not be wise because I doubt I would be a very good dog-mom. However, the thought was there and the desire was there, like a door being opened in my heart. I don't know if I will start liking dogs, or if Snickers will always be just the special exception.

If you have a house and a yard in need of dogs, Snickers and his sister need a good home.

1 comment:

sectheatre said...

I'm glad you got to enjoy him. Come on back over to visit soon and you can get some love again. :)