Where do I start? How about the title. I was going to call it I Hate Dogs, A Story of Loving, but then I thought that might be too ambiguous. And then I either said this or heard this recently and bam – a better title. It’s all about the ambiguity it seems. At least until I can provide more detail. And this miserable monologue just might do that.
I didn’t grow up with a dog. I remember as a toddler that we briefly had a dog. My dad chasing after it as is it ran away. But, I’m not sure how that was so as my dad is allergic to dogs. He makes it seem like he’s deathly allergic, but that’s not true. We’ve had a dog or two run through the house and he never knew – or had a symptom. But, if you tell him they have dogs, then the visit is cut short or doesn’t happen. So, no dogs. A bird yes – around age 13. That was my first real pet. Pretty Boy we called him. Mainly because we wanted him to say “pretty boy,” but he/she never did. It’s tough to tell the sex of a bird. We had Pretty Boy a long time; long enough for me to graduate and go off to college. He died after that. Something about an egg stuck inside her. At least we finally learned her sex.
So, dogs. No dogs growing up. But, I knew about dogs. And yet, my experience was not good. I was a paper boy. I also sold newspaper subscriptions door to door. I learned to put my foot in front of the screen door in case a dog charged it when I ran the door bell. So, you could say I learned to be afraid of dogs. And being a paper boy didn’t help either. I learned my route. I knew to be careful of certain yards. But, I do remember one house that always stank. I think it was because they had dogs. At least, that’s what I told myself. And so I vowed not to let that happen to me – to live in a house that stank.
Once I took the job of babysitting some dogs. Poodles. Two. They belonged to the neighbors and I was given a key to feed them and check on them. Their food was prepared and stored in the freezer. Fancy food. I got paid. After a few days I had to clean up some mistakes on the floor. I think they were potty trained as I don’t recall having to walk them. But then they started hiding under the furniture. I tried to get them out and they nipped at me. Their eyes reflected red light and they growled. I was scared. Then upset. Then angry. Stupid crazy dogs. I was so nice to them.
And so years went by. I met a girl in college – in another state – via the Internet before it was the Internet (that’s another story). We moved in together. We got a dog. She graduated. The girl, not the dog. We moved to Florida – her mom’s house. The dog was a Jack Russell Terrier. I’m not good with knowing breeds, so give me credit for that. His name was Hammer. He had a heck of a sex drive. We got him from a breeder. He ran away too. Probably to um….breed. The name was given by the breeder – a sign we ignored.
Let’s try another. Ok then. A small hairy dog. I don’t recall the name. We had an apartment by then. Two bedroom. But we were away a lot. Work. Etc. Still in our early 20’s. So, we gave it away – to someone with a yard. We felt it was good for the dog. I don’t recall caring much one way or another. That’ll probably come up in N.E.T. (neuro emotional technique – google it) some day. So, now no dog. Instead, we bought our first house. Kids arrived as they seem to do. Kids can be rude, once they learn it from their parents – or other kids in case the parents deny it.
Do you know what I can’t walk down a pet food aisle in the grocery store? Well, I could, but I don’t. I’m not allergic. I just don’t like the smell of pet food. Maybe because it reminds me of that stinky house. And yet, I’m ok with a pet store or a pet shelter.
I’m going to stop for now before this gets too long. Blogs should be fairly short right? But, I’ll be back later to tell you the real reason I’m writing this.