I used to be a cat person. Not that I hate them now, but I once found comfort in the quiet solitude that is of the feline variety. Independent, answers to no one, comes only when they feel like it and never when you want them to, allowing to be touched at their convenience... I guess I can't say this is true for every cat, because we've had some pretty annoying females who were instantly in our faces with a quick look their way. I've had many cats in my lifetime, only really making one a friend. His name was Seger and he was around before I was even conceived. Best cat ever, hands down and I can honestly say I have never been quite as close to another since his passing my senior year of high school. I was sad, depressed, and cried for 2 weeks straight. I didn't think I'd ever find another animal companion as wonderful as him.
Sure, we had our fair share of pets during and after Seger's exit. We had dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, more cats. I even had a legless lizard once. Floyd didn't last too long, poor guy. But I knew I'd never share anything as profound as the friendship I had with my long lost cat. I didn't really like dogs. They were smelly and always seemed to be up in my business no matter what I was trying to do. We had fairly large dogs in a not so big house, so I'm sure that was part of my dismay, although I never shared that closeness or obligation to any of them.
After Dan and I were married we adopted our first cat together. You know, practice for when we were going to consider having kids. Then we bought a ferret and around that time someone found a wild hare so we kept that for a short while until we realized it needed to be set free. A year or so later the child came, so we had her to take care of and less time to spend with our new pets. We got rid of the ferret eventually but I do believe we acquired 2 or so more cats and some dwarf hamsters shortly after. We moved yet again and took in another cat named Jedi and one after that who we called Lulu. Our first cat, Venus, died and some time after, we were given Ferric, yes another darn cat, from my friend who couldn't keep him any longer. There were some others in there that didn't stay with us long so I figured they weren't worth mentioning. None of them died, we just gave them away to family and friends. Let me be clear, we never had more than 3 felines at a time, so it wasn't like we had a problem with animal hoarding or anything.
A few years ago, in the spur of the moment, we decided, and by we I mean I, to buy a puppy for Jaida for Christmas. My cousin posted some pictures on Facebook of a male shih-tzu who needed a home and instantly I just knew he was ours. Of course the rest is history because you all are fully aware of Dexter and the complete love and happiness he has brought into our home. This is our first family dog and I was both nervous and excited for the changes that were about to happen to all of us. Puppies are hard work, especially smaller breeds because they have to relieve themselves every half hour. It was like having a baby all over again. We had to potty train him, feed him, teach him what was acceptable inside and outside the house, take him to the vet for his shots and what not, bathe him, clean up his poop...what did we get ourselves into? There were times I wasn't sure we would do everything right. He was left inside his crate for long hours while we were working and I often had to drive across town just to feed him and take him outside. All of this for one, tiny dog.
It was exhausting at times, but what caught me off guard was the unconditional love and happiness he radiated off of him and onto each one of us. He didn't care that he had to stay home all day waiting for us to get home. He was instantly happy as soon as we opened that door. I couldn't wait to get home from work so I could see him dance around in his excitement for me simply from being there. I frickin' love this dog like he's my own kid. I worry when he's sick, I make sure he eats all of his food and gets some kind of exercise every day, and shoot, he even sleeps in our bed at night. Needless to say he's pretty spoiled for an animal.
We still have Ferric and Jedi, both of which are part time indoor cats. Dexter loves playing with them, or rather biting their ears and holding them down so they can't come into the house or go outside. We did, however take in another dog, a toy poodle named Lucy, and Dexter loves her. Now when we are working they have each other to play with and keep company. I don't feel as bad about leaving them home alone. And Lucy is such a sweetheart. Everyone who comes into contact with her instantly falls in love. She is a great dog and very smart too. I had to make it clear that I equally loved both dogs so they wouldn't get jealous, but Lucy still wants all of the attention to herself. It took me a while to really warm up to her and even though Dexter will probably always play favorite, she's a wonderful dog to have and I cuddle her just as much as I do him.
I guess the moral of the story is, never say never? I never, in a million years, thought I'd be a dog person, but I am now and I'm ok with that.