There are some things to which good people simply don't admit. Apparently, I am not a good person, because this one is pretty near the top of that list: I cannot stand my dogs. Seriously. I joke with passersby that they are "five pounds of pure terror." But I actually mean it. They drive me insane. Literally. When those two maniacs start barking, I say and think and feel and occasionally do things that are WAY over the Crazy Line.
Of course, it wasn't always this way.
I've never claimed to be a Dog Lover, but I certainly didn't consider myself hostile to the species. As newlyweds, my dog-obsessed husband and I would occasionally stop by animal shelters on Saturday afternoons looking for an apartment-sized, non-shedding canine (apparently, if you want one of those, you need to show up Saturday morning...). After a couple years of fruitless trips, I kinda thought we had moved on. But, one fresh April evening, Mr. One spirited me away to a picturesque seaside village and introduced me to the sprightly furball who would become Dolley. And she was just about the most adorable thing I had ever seen: Ten weeks old, barely two pounds, exploding with sweetness and personality and joie de vivre. She obviously adored me. Leave her there? Unthinkable. Dog Lover or not, I am human.
|Don't let the sweet face fool you...|
Dolley was so. dang. cute. She was sooooo happy to see me, always; so utterly thrilled to snuggle in my arms/lick my face/nibble my toes/ride in my pocket. Such sweetness made it easy to overlook petty "quirks." Like when she chewed through the cord to my fancy Swiss immersion blender. Or ate an entire roll of postage stamps. Or went poo on the seat of my desk chair. After all, nobody's perfect...
As time went on, though, Dolley started to seem less cute and more naughty. But every time she acted out, I blamed myself, made excuses and bent over backwards to placate her. We gave her fancy toys. And her own room. And a boyfriend. Who, bless his furry little heart, doubled the problems. And -- probably about the time their incredible barking (now in stereo!) made it impossible for my newborn Princess H to sleep past 5:15 in the morning -- I started to fall out of love with my dogs.
In the years since, the pups and I have had some good times together. But, when I'm honest, I know my life would be closer to my ideal if they weren't a part of it. They don't bring out the best in me, and I certainly don't love them with the unconditional abandon they deserve.
Which brings me to my somewhat belabored point. My dogs remind me of some of the guys I dated: terribly cute, utterly affectionate, well-pedigreed, great for a laugh. And there is absolutely no question in my mind that I would be abjectly miserable if I were married to my idiot dogs -- or their human equivalent. We just aren't right for each other.
Now, for those of you worried that the poor pooches have a desolate life with me, do not fear! Mr. One and his like-minded offspring provide more doting devotion than any two canines could ever possibly absorb or appreciate. I am a lone hater in an endless sea of affection. Which leads me to my second point. Those ill-mannered Yorkies bring my husband more joy than I can possibly understand or express. And because of that -- and that alone! -- I am so deeply grateful they are a part of my life. Because the thing that makes my life happy and meaningful and full of hope and sparkle is that it isn't my life at all. It's ours. And Mr. One is even more right for me than those dogs are wrong.