My Two Dog Mistakes on National Pet Day

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My name is Jennifer and I am a cat person. I never liked dogs; scratch that…I never wanted to HAVE a dog. I like everyone else’s dogs so much, because they are not my dogs. I have never wanted a dog. Twice, in times gone by, I had a dog: one was a rescue that my teenage self was wholly unequipped for, and the second was a puppy that my college-life self was (again) wholly unequipped for.

Dogs are needy, they can be hyper/nervous/bitey/pee-y/sheddy, they’re drooly, they poop by the ton and look at you with guilt-inducing puppy dog eyes when you’re too tired to throw the ball.

Plot twist: I now have two dogs. How did this happen??

Seriously. How did I get here??

Answer: Don’t have kids. They make you do things you would never do (and never wanted to do), and you do them with vigor and joy in your heart. Kids make you do things you never ever thought would happen; in fact, things you had put your foot down in opposition to MANY TIMES.

They’ll make you get a dog. Then get sucked into a second one.

My partner is a dog guy, but it’s not like he began a campaign to get one. He liked the cat I forced on him from the Humane Society; she licked my nose when I picked her up and she came home two days later. It turns out she is sharp, has a dislike for loud noises and being touched when she doesn’t want to be touched, and in essence is me in cat form. I adore her.

Piper, my “fur-me”

Scene: Kid loves cat. Cat is…..sharp, but cuddly when she wants to be. Cat scratches Kid one time. Kid hates Cat and tells us a dog would be much better for her. End scene.

For some ridiculous reason, I started looking at rescue dogs online. Because dammit, if we’re getting a dog we’re getting one with issues!!! I made the mistake of showing the two dog-whisperers a picture of her, and after telling the woman at the rescue that I really don’t want a dog, the dog is at my house for a home visit eating the toy we bought for her as a welcome gift.

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Maple, Day 3

She had a lot of fear issues. She was a street dog in Mexico, and it took us a long time and a lot of patience to let her come around to us. She still has some fear of strangers, men in particular, my partner even more specifically, but we’re letting her come around on her own terms. For the first two weeks, she trusted no one but my daughter.

Fast forward to December 2019, almost two years later, and I am in love with this damn little dog and all her issues. I’ve bought sweaters, pink leashes, blankets, toys, more treats than any dog needs, and have started haunting the “Pets” section of my local used goods site. All is well.

Or is it? Apparently not, because I decided it would be a great idea to support a friend and become a foster for a local dog rescue she works with, that brings homeless street dogs from St. Lucia. I was ready to help make a rescued one healthy until they were adopted and would move on to their forever homes.

Then he arrived. This little bag of bones who inhaled a chicken tender on my kitchen counter because he couldn’t eat the mid-sized kibble I had bought for him. The woman who picked him up from the airport put him in my arms and I was done. There was no way he was going anywhere else.

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Baby Dasher

Fast forward to today.

Dash is hell on wheels and such a snuggler. He and Maple fell in love with each other instantly, and she has started coming out of her shell even more.

I am so in love with these two giant mistakes. I can’t imagine our lives without their unique brand of insanity mixed with a healthy dose of chaos. I’ve made more friends than I can count at the dog park, and learned more about patience from their little faces than I ever could have otherwise.

Two dogs are not easy. Two dogs plus one cat/wolverine is less easy. They make me insane and keep me calm all at the same time.

I’m still the boss though. Because I put my foot down and said no dogs.

Piper rules the roost, and the dogs give her a wide birth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go feed my queen; I hear her meowing at her just-below-full food bowl.

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