Good morning and Happy Monday!
Question: is today a national dog holiday about which I am completely unaware?
I left my apartment, took my same route and got on the subway, just as I do every workday. Today, however, it seemed like there were even more dogs out and about than usual at that hour, most bundled up in their winter gear. It seemed like “Dogs on Parade”. (Probably a new reality show filming in my neighborhood. Can’t wait to see the summer frocks.)
Please don’t misunderstand. I am not complaining, merely curious. As readers of this blog, you’ve no doubt surmised by now that I love dogs. All dogs. Breed or size doesn’t particularly matter, although I do tend to gravitate toward “fluffy” (as in fluffy fur – not in the Gabriel Iglesias way – not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I live in a city and I’m surrounded by dogs. Dignified dogs on leashes perambulating down the sidewalk, outlaw dogs in the city-owned green spaces who should be on leashes, but aren’t and social dogs meeting for play dates in the parks designated for their use (and where they can run and jump without restraint as long as they can play well with others).
Dogs are even allowed, if not expressly then tacitly, on public transit in my city. I don’t mean just service dogs, all dogs. As long as they are well behaved and the other passengers don’t object, one can bring their Giant Burmese Mountain Dog on the subway – but do not try to bring your bicycle (or a Christmas tree, but that’s a story for another time. I digress).
I cannot have a dog in the apartment building in which I live. A dog is not even supposed to come for a visit. No dogs. Not now, not ever…never! To me, this seems grossly unfair and even discriminatory. I can have a cat. I can even have hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, birds and fish. I don’t want any of those. I want a dog. And I’m sorry, fish are not pets. They’re barely sentient beings. No offense intended to those who take great pleasure from cultivating and curating their beautiful and costly aquariums, but those are more like living art installations, in my opinion.
Everyone loves dogs. Or at least the people that I choose to associate with love dogs. People who tell me otherwise are instantly suspicious characters in my book. (I may even mean that literally.) You know where you stand with dogs, usually within the first five minutes. Dogs want to like you and generally will unless you give them a reason not to.
So, I must settle for vicariously enjoying the dogs of others. When I see a dog coming toward me as I walk through the city, I look down and smile at the dog and rarely ever notice the human to whom the dog is attached. Standing at a corner waiting for the walk signal I will coo and make a ridiculous fuss over a Pomeranian in a parka and I will even talk to a stranger on the subway, if only to ask if I may pet and fawn over their canine companion. In the virtual world, I watch the funny videos, look at the cute pictures, and admire some of our blogging friends’ four-legged family members.
Even our blog has dogs. I’ve met Fergus, who lives with C. C. Cedras, as well as his little sister, Sophie, who visits quite a bit, and they are both just as adorable as their photos and videos suggest. We became fast friends and I follow their adventures, especially Fergus’, as any doting “aunt” would. I’ve not met Stella, K. R. Brorman’s sidekick, but I know we’d be friends, too. I can tell just by looking at her. Stella, now that she’s found her human, is a happy dog. She always looks like she’s smiling and I think she is.
Of course, there is a dog in my life, one I’ve mentioned before. Morty, bless his heart, is pretty much none of the things I’ve described above. He’s not fluffy, he does not smile and he is not friendly. Poor Morty. This tiny little dog had a rough childhood. He has deep-seated abandonment and trust issues that I fear only years of animal psychoanalysis could help. I applaud my friend who rescued him from “death-row” and is so patient with him. We all love Morty. But it’s not easy.
One of these days I’ll move out of that apartment building (and this city) and I’ll have a dog. I’ll get a dog before I get cable. Seriously.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person? Either way, have a great week!
*tip o’ the pin to C. C. Cedras who unknowingly fanned the flames of my thoughts this morning with a tale of wee Fergus romping in the snow.