Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Must Love Dogs

I was never a dog person growing up. I liked them, I just wasn't over the top about them. When my daughter was 10, I got her this cute little poodle that fit in the palm of my hand. She's twenty now, and that dog goes everywhere she goes. I got really attached to the little guy when she moved off to college and he didn't. He followed me around the house, lay down on the rug near me when I sat down at the dining room table, sat in my lap on the couch and slept on the pillow next to me. And then she got an apartment and he went to live with her.

My then-fiance and daughter were sure I was going to miss him terribly when he moved out (and I did), so they conspired to get me a little white fuzzball that I ended up naming Bear. Bear is a Bichon, a little bit poodle, and mostly human, with big, expressive brown eyes. He will be two next month. But, other than the fact that he is now a bigger white fuzzball, you would never guess.

My daughter's dog, at ten, is a sweet curmudgeon that mostly sits, snuggles and watches the world go by. Not so with Bear. Bear is a warp speed dog. I let him out into our fenced in yard, he runs out the door. He runs five or six laps before he stops to do his business, and even then, the slightest sound will send him into another frenzy of "drive bys". I open the door when it's time to come in, and he blows by me fast enough that the leaves in the yard follow him in. He chases sticks and balls and the two cats that live in the yard (the one that lives inside has taught him to leave her alone--that was a hard lesson for him). I'm a distance runner, and I wouldn't dare try to keep up with him when he's going at full speed.

Inside, he's never far away. When there is  more than one person in the house, he makes the rounds, constantly checking up on everyone to make sure he isn't missing out on something fun. Especially when my mother comes to visit. She brings chicken cookies. He really likes her. When I come home from a trip, he tears in from the next room and twists, turns, wiggles and barks, trying in his own doggie way to express how excited he is to see me. And, bless him, when my husband lays down, exhausted after a hard day, that's Bear's cue. It's time to play. Wherever he might be, he stops what he's doing, leaps up on the bed, grabs my husband's wrist in his teeth and growls playfully. And who can resist those big, hopeful brown eyes? My husband always gives in, and Bear growls, gnaws, twists and jumps until my husband has had enough. And then Bear gives him a "hug", dives under the covers and stretches out next to him until my husband falls asleep, then moves over to sleep between my feet.

So why was I never a dog person before? I have no idea! I never realized what I was missing. I can't imagine life without the little mophead. He's a happy, sweet little bright spot. And I'm glad I have seen the light.