Leader Of The Pack: My Life With Dogs

Me and Tippy
(Digital Images. Original Photographs and Text, Copyright (c) 2012 Cynthia Shenette)What is it about dogs that appeals to us?  They shed, they barf, they eat disgusting things..and don't even get me started about the inappropriate sniffing.

I love my dog.  And yes, she's MY dog.

"Do you know what YOUR dog did?" my husband always asks.  YOUR dog.

"How come she's always MY dog when she's done something wrong?"

"She's always YOUR dog," is the usual response.

Just because there's an empty tuna can and a shoe in my bed does not automatically mean we need to blame the dog.  Hey, it could have been a cat.  My husband is always a little too eager to blame MY dog.  He's a cat person.  You know how they are.

I love my dog, but I will be the first to admit she's not going to win any intelligence contests.  Let's just say if it was up to her to save the day, little Timmy wouldn't be getting out of that well any time soon.  And while she did manage to receive her Basic Obedience Diploma my husband is convinced it was a classic case of grade inflation. What she might lack in brains she does make up for in beauty.  You know how they say some people resemble their dogs?  I should be so lucky.  If I did I'd be tall, thin, and blond.

As far as she is concerned I am clearly the leader of the pack.  My husband's theory is that it's because I picked her up from the dog rescue transport and brought her home.  I SAVED her.  I'm convinced it's because she hears me issuing the same series of commands to my husband and son. No!  Off!  Sit!  Down!  Out!  Eat!  Car!  Clearly, I am in charge.

So when did my love affair with dogs begin?

I was four when I got my first dog, Tippy.   She was a mutt, half beagle and half standard poodle.  Of course this was back in the day when we still called them mutts. Now we have "designer dogs" (which are essentially the same thing but with a higher price tag).  I remember my mom put a big cardboard box on the floor in the back seat of our station wagon for the puppy, and then she and my dad and I drove to some mysterious, pre-determined location to pick out our dog.

I don't remember the puppy place specifically, it's more of a vague recollection.  I do remember the puppies though!  Oh, my goodness, they were cute!  There was a litter of tortoise-shell-colored, beagley-looking puppies!  Puppies were everywhere, jumping and wagging their stubby little tails!  I remember sitting on the floor with puppies in my lap and puppies all around me begging for attention.  I played with them until my parents decided which puppy was to come home with us.  I wanted them all!

Tippy was a wonderful dog.  Brilliant really.  Thankfully, she inherited the poodle brain (Sorry beagle people, but you know what I'm talking about...) For eleven years Tippy was my best friend.  We did everything together.  I didn't need a leash--she stayed right by my side.  We had a give and take relationship.  I played ball with her, and she let me dress her up in sunglasses and a hat.  I was the leader of her pack.  Even with living in the city my mom always said she never worried about my being outside alone if Tippy was with me.  She knew that dog would never let anything happen to me.  When someone smashed a window and tried to break into our house once they never made it past the outside back door.  Or when I had a bad day or was picked on by some mean bully at school I knew I could talk to her about it even if I couldn't tell my mom or my dad.

Sometimes I think the world would be a better place if people were more like dogs.  Dogs don't care what you look like.  They don't care what color you are or what religion you are.  They don't care if you can't walk or can't see.  If you feed them and love them and throw them a ball once in a while you've got a friend for life.  I still miss Tippy.  Even after all of these years she still has a special place in my heart.

My Girl, Fall 2007
Well, here's my girl!  She's an honest to goodness butt-sniffing, poop-eating, chipmunk-chasing dog.  But given the frantic reception I get every time I walk through the front door I know there is no one at that particular moment in time who loves me more than MY dog.  She might not exactly be Lassie, but hey, I'm not exactly Heidi Klum either.

Now, it's time for a walk.  Come here, girl!

Other Posts You Might Like:

A Comedy of Errors: My Family in the Census (Part 1 of 3)
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women
2011 Favorites in Review: And The iGene Goes To...
Flash Back! The Life and Times of Francois Chenet (Greatly Abridged)


Jasia said...

Oh I LOVE dog stories! What beautiful dogs you have had in your life, Cynthia. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks so much for sharing your canine friends with us!

Anonymous said...

Although I'm a cat person, I really enjoyed reading about your canine friends :-) Jo

Cynthia Shenette said...

Jasia and Jo - Thank you for your comments! I enjoyed sharing my dog stories, too. Just to set the record straight I do have three cats as well. Some days I think I'm more of a cat person. Those days usually seem to coincide with some sort of misbehavior from the dog... ;)