Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Fricassee

Today I'm going to make some new friends.

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.

Mind you, I'm also still an utter cat person.  I stand by my long-time declaration that, were I not married (to a man allergic to cats, no less), I would be a bonafide cat lady.  (It fits the writer persona, don't you think?)

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.

So I guess I'm pretty hopeless, huh?  Still.  I have never loved a puppy like this.  Not ever.

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*.


It is possible.

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.

13 comments:

  1. This is a great story. It's sad you dog with bitten so many times! Bad dog owners! But this reminded me of the video of the cat and the mailman. It's hysterical.

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    1. I absolutely need to see this cat and mailman video. :)

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  2. Yes, anything is possible! I needed that reminder. And your poor father, ywoch. And he is super cute, I hope everything turns out okay for him!

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  3. Puppy limbo!! Wonderful. As a cat lady, I find there's nothing cuter than the neighbor's dog. I hope Ranger finds his perfect forever home.

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  4. What a great story. I'm just the opposite of you tho. I dislike cats very very much. I don't like the cat hair they leave behind, such as when they jump on counters where I prepare my food (and they will when you're out). But, I also dislike BIG dogs because HUGE POOP and ODOR! I'm a teeny-tiny dog lover, but only the none-shedding kind. However, if you can fall in love with a dog, I suppose some day I might find my heart fluttering over a cat. As you said, anything is possible! Which means some day, one of those glorious agents that has my full MS will say, "YES! I must rep this chick and her fantastic story!" 😁

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  5. What a great story. I'm just the opposite of you tho. I dislike cats very very much. I don't like the cat hair they leave behind, such as when they jump on counters where I prepare my food (and they will when you're out). But, I also dislike BIG dogs because HUGE POOP and ODOR! I'm a teeny-tiny dog lover, but only the none-shedding kind. However, if you can fall in love with a dog, I suppose some day I might find my heart fluttering over a cat. As you said, anything is possible! Which means some day, one of those glorious agents that has my full MS will say, "YES! I must rep this chick and her fantastic story!" 😁

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  6. Puppies do have a musky smell but they outgrow that. And they don't have smelly cat boxes or hair balls. Now, understand, I love both cats and dogs but nothing is perfect. If you love them you put up with it, in time, you don't even notice it. However, your husband does not sound like an animal lover and that could be a problem because they really do become your fur babies and he's got to understand that. My Frodo is way more spoiled than either of my children. He's almost like a grand furbaby.

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    1. Actually, I think all dogs smell. I have always felt this way about dogs of all ages!

      My husband ADORES cats, as I do. Total cat person. But beagles are his favorite dog (he used to help raise them when he was a boy), so I really wasn't prepared for his negative response. It really had more to do with the busyness of our lives right now, and how it would not be wise to try to fit a puppy into all that. I am thankful for his wisdom.

      Also? Frodo is an AWESOME pet name. :)

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  7. My phone is doing weird things again. Sorry about the duplicate post. πŸ˜•

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  8. Thanks for sharing this charming story. :) I'm one of the exceptions to the rule of writers being predominately cat people; while I like cats, I've been absolutely obsessed with dogs since I was seven years old.

    Though I don't recall exactly where I read it (I think it was in the intro to a story in one of her Sword and Sorceress volumes), Marion Zimmer Bradley once said something like "I'm fond enough of cats, but I love dogs just short of idolatry". Since that describes my feelings perfectly, I got a kick out of that -- it was nice to see that another writer was also a dog person instead!

    And I have to disagree with you about cat smell; I think cats do have a distinctive 'body odor' -- slightly sour and musky -- and though it's rather subtle, when someone has multiple cats in one house (especially if it's a small house or apartment) I can definitely smell it.

    And as far as doggy odor goes, it depends a great on the breed. Because your little buddy, Ranger, is a beagle, he's in the category of dogs that have the strongest smell -- short-haired scent hounds. Beagles, bassets, foxhounds, etc., have ten times more doggy odor than many other breeds. And some breeds have less odor than a cat; my Tibetan Terrier has no doggy smell at all when she's clean. :)

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  9. Charming story, adorable puppy, and a good reminder that we all have a great capacity for change. I second L.C.--doggy odors are breed-related. Fostering is a wise first step toward adoption. Happy writing!

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  10. I totally get it! I can't believe how much I can relate. I'm a life long cat lover who never considered owning a dog. Ever. In a million, billion years. But my 15-year-old daughter begged for a puppy earlier this year while she was undergoing radiation for metastatic cancer. Kids are smart. I'm pretty sure I would've considered buying her a pony if she'd asked. Anyway, yadda yadda yadda - we now own a dog. I wrote this piece and I really NEED to share it with you. (my daughter and I both have a very acute sense of smell...) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-dooley/how-getting-a-puppy-helpe_b_10204006.html

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