pet peeves

I often tell people that I have one perfect dog and one very sweet but very crazy dog.

And then yesterday, I had the following exchange on Twitter:

Still thinking about this exchange as Jon and I went to bed, I said, “My friend says that people project their own personalities and issues on their pets. But we have two very different pets! And he says that one of them is probably me, and one of them is probably you.  But which is which?”

Very quickly, Jon replied, “I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m the chilled out, obedient one.”

To which I replied, “Are you saying I’m the cracked out crazy one in constant need of attention and affection and snuggles?”

His silence said all I needed to know.

Bessie, aka Jon. The chilled out, obedient dog with a voracious appetite who has never met a food she doesn't like. Her dad, on the other hand, has met two foods he doesn't like: olives and corned beef.

Olive, aka me. She's prone to run off chasing things that interest her, often lashes out at strangers, and is sometimes too smart for her own good.

But let's be honest here, this is how you normally find Olive, because she's a total attention whore.

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Wordless Wednesday: my children

Bessie dog.

Olive Pup.

Happeee Ollie.

These two dogs are best friends.  For the better part of the last hour, while I sat drinking my coffee and internetting, as golden sunshine filtered through the curtains in our living room, they’ve been wrestling and playing tug-of-war with their rope toy.  Jon sat on the couch, having just got in after working a night shift at the hospital, and he said: “I don’t know how anyone could watch these two play and decide to have only one dog.” It’s true. Two dogs are better than one. They entertain each other, they bring out each other’s dog-ness, and they’re almost as fun to watch as TV.  Sure, it was a pain in the ass trying to find a rental house that would allow my two large dogs, but I found one, and I wouldn’t trade my two puppers for anything.

I wish I’d known her then

Both of my puppygirls. Olive is the black one. I've yet to see a "Baby Bessie" because apparently cow-spotted catahoula mixes with golden eyes are rare.

There are many benefits to adopting an older dog– by they come your way, they can sleep through the night without crying, they’re potty trained, and they have less of a propensity for chewing on your stuff (though lord knows both of my adopted-as-older-dogs have chewed PLENTY of my stuff).  But one major drawback of adopting an older dog is you don’t get to know them as puppies, don’t get to see what they look like when they are small and fuzzy and cuddly wuddly, all chubby bellies and slightly out of control paws.

We adopted our second dog, Olive, what we believe to be a lab/border collie mix, the Christmas before last.  She was less than a year old, and had been found in the woods near my parents’ home by a family friend, so starved they initially thought she was dead.  I don’t know who left her, or if she ran off, or how she ended up in the woods.  I see hints that someone must have been mean to her– the way she is terrified I’m going to hit her with a broom when I sweep the floors, the way she thinks every raised object might be used to strike her, the way she cowers and sometimes pees on herself if I use too forceful of a voice with her. Continue reading

and they call it puppy love

Last night I was in a bit of a funk. Sitting on the couch, I announced to Jon, “I’m feeling a little bummed out.”  A few seconds later, he called out, “Ollllllive!” I thought he heard her barking in the back yard or something.  She came running eagerly out of the bedroom, and I said, “She was asleep! Why did you call her?” He replied, “To cheer you up! That’s her job!”  And she did. She licked and snuggled me into a better mood.  I guess it is her job.  Bessie is the most loyal dog around, but she sort of wants me to stop trying to cuddle her already, can’t you see she’s trying to nap here?  Olive, on the other hand, is a lovah.  She’s the snuggle pup I always wanted, and she’s the perfect cure to feeling bummed out.  My furry Valentine.

Updated to include a poem I had forgotten about, but was reminded of while chatting with my friend Stacy.

Falling in love is like owning a dog
by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.