Well, maybe not. Those of you who have been reading me for years already know that I am an avowed dog hater. I can always appreciate a well trained, well behaved pet, and I certainly don't wish harm to people's animals, but I grew up as the daughter of a mailman, and he was bitten no fewer than ten times during my childhood.
Once, a dog ran through a glass door to get at him.
Once, a dog bit him, came at him for a second round, and my dad had to kick the dog to defend himself (and ended up kicking out the dog's teeth).
Once, he came home with a small chunk out of his calf.
So, yeah. I learned to fear dogs very early. (That's not the dogs' fault. But it is what it is.)
Anyway. Imagine my surprise (and disbelief) when I recently fell in love with THIS FACE:
Meet Ranger, a 14-week-old full-bred beagle pup from heaven.
He's not mine. He belongs to our neighbors up the street. But I fell in love with him at first sight (which was basically when my neighbor texted me the above picture, introducing me to Ranger and asking me to keep an eye out for him, in case he ever escaped their back yard).
The short story is this: Four of their family members (it's a big family) ended up being allergic to Ranger. So I got a text from my neighbor about a week ago, letting me know that they had to put Ranger up for adoption, and to let her know if I knew anyone who might want the puppy.
I wanted the puppy.
I wanted him more than was humanly possible. I wanted him outside of the entire reality of my dog-hating existence. I begged Mr. A to let us adopt the puppy.
He said no. It was a resounding, five-hundred-ton NO.
I turned on my feminine charm. Nothin'.
I used my intellectual prowess, calling forth the logic of accepting what was essentially an incredible gift -- a full bred beagle who was ALREADY CRATE TRAINED -- for free. Free! She'd throw in the crate and ten training lessons at the pet store and a huge bag of premium puppy food. FOR NOTHING. She just really wanted to find Ranger a happy home (and, let's be honest--her kids could still see him sometimes, which would mean a lot).
The resounding NO stood.
Which is fine. Really. Because even though he's crate trained, HE IS STILL A PUPPY. He needs lots of attention (and still has pee-pee accidents when he's out of the crate). And, if I'm really-really honest, puppy care doesn't fit into my life right now. Pre-crate-training notwithstanding.
So the short story is this: I found a family member who wanted to adopt the puppy, but her roommate wasn't keen. So Mr. A agreed that we would foster the puppy for 3 months until said roommate got married and became history.
Then. Ranger got sick.
"I think it's Parvo," his owner said. "The adoption is on hold."
Blood tests, stool samples, and ridiculous vet bills later, Ranger is fine. No Parvo. Still no results as to what made him sick, but I just cuddled him yesterday (and got many wonderful doggie smooches), and he was fine.
No word from the neighbor on what happens next. We're all just hanging out, waiting. Meanwhile, I see the puppy daily, because their little boy walks him morning and evening, and almost always brings him to the front door so I can see him.
Puppy limbo. That's what we're in.
All that to say -- WHO KNEW I HAD THE CAPACITY TO FALL IN LOVE WITH A DOG?
I'm still reeling.
I'm certain I know one reason why this is true--there's no such thing as "cat smell". (Well, there's that odd time where you happen to encounter your kitty fresh from a poop, and she hasn't had time to clean her exit hole yet. But that's not so much "cat smell" as "poop smell".) Cats are wickedly clean. Self-bathing. They always smell fresh. Like bleach, almost. When they jump off your lap, it doesn't smell like cat. It smells like...lap.
But dogs? They stink. I mean, sure, if they've been bathed within the last 24 hours, they smell like artificially scented doggie shampoo. But after that? Dog smell.
And yeah, I have a super-sensitive nose. Maybe some folks would never even notice the eau d'canine that I find so offensive. But after I said bye-bye to my sweet lil' puppy friend yesterday, I smelled like dog.
My shirt smelled like dog. My hands smelled like dog.
And Ranger is a well-groomed, well-taken-care-of little guy. He's not dirty. He's just...a dog.
That's my story. And you can take this lesson from it: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Maybe that's why this happened--maybe I needed yet another reminder in my life that, yes, anything REALLY IS possible.
If I can love a dog, then *fill in the blank*.
As writers, we need to know that anything is possible. We live that fully in the worlds we create, because, truly, at the other end of our pens, anything is possible. But in real life, we need to know it even more. It is possible for us to finish a difficult draft. It is possible to find and connect to people who will support and encourage us (and whom we will support and encourage). It is possible to land an agent. It is possible to get published. It is possible to be the next *name your favorite bestselling author*.
Don't give up. Think of Authoress loving a puppy, and remind yourself that anything is possible.
Thanks for being who you are. Live in the world of possibility. Hug your dog. Hug someone else's dog. Write your stories. Be blessed.