I will start today with a caveat: at least my dog doesn’t have her own carrier, or stroller that I carry her in. She gets around on her own four paws.
My entire life I grew up in a family with allergies, and for those of you who know me personally, you know I am allergic to quite a few things. (Some foods, everything that grows in Nevada, and most animals, including dogs, cats, rodents, and horses. But not mold! Thank God for small favors.)
When my sister and I were little, we of course wanted a dog. My dad, being the kind of dad who tries, got us a dog. A dog named Ruger. I had no idea what a Ruger was, or why he was named that. But this dog was bigger than us. And he was a trained hunting dog. And he was so bored during the day when he was alone that he ate the side of our house, in large swathing chunks.
My sister and I were terrified of him. And allergic to him. We wore mittens when we petted him, or more acurately, forced to pet him by our mother, who was also allergic to dogs, and would not go near him.
This is the kind of family I grew up in.
Needless to say, Dad soon found another home for Ruger, one with fields and an owner that appreciated Ruger’s hunting abilities. (Considering my dad went hunting once in his life and he couldn’t abide the thought of the neighbors looking at our half eaten house and thinking terrible thoughts about us.)
Fast forward to two years ago, and I for some reason decide I want a dog. I have no idea why I decided this. The thought just came to me. I think I knew Biff would be a great dog-dad, as he is really good with dogs. I never got one before because I had no idea how to treat one, care for one, what to expect, nothing. Like I said, I didn’t grow up around a lot of animals.
I started looking online, you know – the gateway drug to shopping for things you will eventually get but you won’t need. Once you start Googling emergency food rations, the next thing you know you have a box of MREs stored in your garage.
There I was, browsing dogs online, and I had pretty much given up. Biff wasn’t totally sold on the idea of a dog, and I had no idea what I was doing, let alone thinking! But then I saw that there was an adoption day at PetSmart.
We went. We said things like, “We’ll just look around. See what’s available.” “We don’t have to come home with a dog.” “They probably won’t have anything good for our tiny home.”
When we saw her, she was really scraggly and mopey, and totally not interested in us at all. I told Biff, “She doesn’t like us. She isn’t even paying any attention.” Biff had to explain to me the background of what is a “pound” and the Humane Society. Of course I took her home. I am lucky I didn’t take them all home. Especially since they were all ON SALE!!!
Biff said she was smart and that she would learn well. And she is, and she did. I named her Laida, after a beach in the Basque Country, because she sandy colored and I like Basque names. And she has settled into our home and our lives so perfectly that I take her everywhere. So does Biff. To get gas. To get our prescriptions. To the bank. To the home improvement store. To the corn maze. (Yes, even the corn maze.)
To get Starbucks in the morning when we run out of coffee:
It hit me yesterday as I was waiting for my coffee, and taking pictures of her to post: I am the crazy dog lady. If I were rich and popular, I would be Paris Hilton, carrying around that damn chihuahua everywhere. But like I said, I make Laida walk wherever we go.