This week I was happy that I have a dog. Happy to have an excuse to take a walk and go up to the dog run. Dogs don’t think you are a freak. Dogs don’t need to talk everything out. I would say that dogs are simple, but Gracie is quirky. I’ve had her for over six years, and I still think of her as my “new” dog. I’ve watched Gracie, I’ve studied her, I’ve paid a lot of attention to her. I don’t completely get her. We are not a perfect match; but we are good enough.
When Gracie meets up with another dog, she goes right to butt-sniffing. Serious sniffing. This forces me to make small talk with the other owner. At first, being a shy person, this seemed like a weird thing to do. Now it is natural. The standard questions are boy or girl (if it is not obvious), what is your dog’s name, and what kind of dog is that. I’ve learned to recognize a lot of unusual breeds and “designer” mixes.
Some owners know what mix their mutt is because they adopted the dog as a puppy and know the dam (and sire). Some owners guess based on what the dog looks like (ears, muzzle, tail, markings). Most of us are curious. To solve the mystery, I could do a DNA test and find out Gracie’s genetic material. I’d have to swab her dog’s mouth, put the results in a plastic container, and send it to the lab. A few weeks later they would tell me how many different breeds were identified, and the percentage of each breed in the mix.
When asked, I say that Gracie was supposed to be a Flat-Coated Retriever mix, but she seems more like a Border Collie mix. I haven’t done the test. What if it came back that she was a Chow/Chihuahua mix, or a Spitz/Field Spaniel mix? Would I feel differently about her if I knew her true genetic identity? What would Gracie’s results tell me? We’ve already figured out each other’s personality, routines, and obnoxious habits.
I love kissy dogs. I love snuggly dogs. Dog lovers can be divided up into kissers and those who think getting licked on the face by a dog is gross. Dog lovers can be divided up into rescuers and purchasers. The rescuers also need to be rescued. I am a kissy rescuer. Just one problem. Gracie doesn’t kiss. She will air kiss, she will nuzzle me, but she will only lick me after I eat cheese. She tolerates me kissing her, but I know she doesn’t like it.
I take Gracie to the dog run almost everyday. I have people friends and canine friends there. I wave and say hi to the humans, but there are a number of dogs who whine and mob me when I come in. Mickey and Lulu always demand kisses and scruffing up. Gracie is a jealous bitch. She will try to worm her way in-between me and the other pups. When it comes to dogs, I am polyamorous. I can’t get enough love. When it comes to women, I have room only for one. Lucky Donna. Continue reading