My neighbors have all seen me in my pajamas walking my dogs at 6:30 a.m. I have made a great first impression. I’m sure momma is proud.
I figure I am now known as the crazy dog lady -- outside in her nightgown at all hours yelling a terrier that thought it would be best to hike his leg on her. The dogs have usually tied me up in their leashes or are dragging me across the yard after a squirrel or a bird or a frog – all of which they have no idea what to do with if they catch them.
I have four dogs, and they are the loves of my life. Duncan – a Scottish Terrier -- is my first born and (I know it isn’t right, but….) my favorite. My sister Deana bought Duncan for me when I moved into my first apartment as some sort of burglar deterrent. I really don’t know what he will do except bug the stew out of the intruder to “throw the ball.” He suffers from some sort of Obsessive Compulsion Disorder with the ball. He just won’t stop, and the pity if you actually say the word “ball” in his presence. I now know what a “conniption” is.
I drove all the way to Jackson to rescue Skipper, my Fox Terrier. Someone had thrown him in a dumpster, and the librarian at the Eudora Welty Library was fostering him. When I saw his picture on Petfinder.org, I knew we were destined to be together. He was sitting propped up against a bust of the great Eudora Welty – as an English major I took that as a sign. On the drive home, he was the sweetest thing asleep on my lap, but then he woke up. So far, he has but two speeds: sleep and run.
Skipper is quite affectionately referred to as the Village Idiot (bless his heart!). I think he might have gotten some sort of brain damage in the dumpster or perhaps ate some paint chips. One thing I do know is just being around him makes me tired. I have had him nearly ten years, and he still has as much energy as the day I brought him home (bless my heart!).
My next adoption was Toulouse, a full-blooded Maltese someone abandoned at the Southaven Animal Shelter with two of his siblings. He was so mangled and matted, the shelter workers did not know what kind of dog he was – almost putting him to sleep with the fear that he was covered in mange. But they found a dog groomer to shave the three dogs; they discovered they were full bred. Two of the three dogs were adopted before they could get back to the shelter.
Toulouse was the only one left, and I (as president of the humane society) just couldn’t let him go back to the shelter by himself. He would be scared without his brother and sister.
Toulouse is my prissy dog, and even though he is a boy, I put ribbons and barrettes in his hair and paint his toenails. He is totally okay with his feminine side.
My youngest, and by far most manipulative, is Don Juan – the Chihuahua. He got his name for two reasons – he has a heart-shaped birth mark on his forehead and he loves the ladies. Anytime I have had people over for a get-together, he will work the room – going from guest to guest to be held, and if he doesn’t get the attention he believes he deserves, he will be upset. He literally gets his feelings hurt and cries – big alligator tears. No one told me that Chihuahuas do that. For the longest time, I thought I was the most evil person in the world for making my dog cry!
Together, the four make life very colorful for me. Skipper and Toulouse hate each other (well they all hate Skipper) and Duncan treats the others like they are beneath him. In fact, I don’t believe he has ever acknowledged any of them.
I just kind of dwell in their house with my six inches of mattress and a blanket corner for warmth as they are stretched out under the covers on their backs or wrapped around my head or two inches from my nose with their head on the other pillow. I can’t sit down without all four trying to give me kisses or getting jealous that another one might get more than the other.
Dog people are funny – their dogs are children to them. I know non-dog-people think we all have lost our minds, and we treat our canine friends a little too much like family. Well, maybe I am crazy. I don’t sew clothes for them, but I do give them Christmas presents. I have never pushed one of them around in a baby buggy, but I have taken them to the “toy store” (Petco) to pick out their own toys.
I also believe dogs go to heaven – if lions and lambs than why not dogs? I don’t believe God would put something on earth that can give unconditional love and not give it a soul.
So I might be a crazy dog lady who has been dragged through her yard by four idiots chasing a bunny and some squirrels, but I am also the lady who is means to world to a herd of critters who prefer sleeping on an electric blanket.