To truly appreciate National Dog Day, I have to time travel to my childhood.
Hard to believe, but I grew up with dogs as pets, not cats. At first we had Huskies and then eventually Samoyeds. Misty was “my” dog, and I had her until she passed away when I was 14. She was protective of me and really gentle. She was smaller than most Samoyeds I think, definitely smaller than the males. But she kept the other ones we had in line, especially around me.
My brother’s dog was a Sheltie named Taz. He passed away just a few years back. I remember mom and dad bringing him home as a puppy…one day they left with my brother to go somewhere and a storm blew in. It ended up blowing over the shelter that Taz was in. I went running outside in sideways pelting rain to find him terrified and huddled against the side of the house. I grabbed him and brought him inside. I put him in the bathtub, dried him off, and kept him there until they got back. Fortunately that was the only time it happened and he never did learn to be comfortable indoors.
So don’t be fooled. I’m not just a crazy cat lady. I will love and try to hug (if permitted) just about any animal that is fuzzy and cute. I’m pretty much the real-life version of Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures.
But if it’s a snake or tarantula, you can forget it. Anything that could potential crawl or slither across my skin wins the NOPE lifetime achievement award.
My first husband had an old orange kitty, and while I had always wanted a cat, I fell in love with that old fuzzball. And thus my origin story for crazy cat lady fame. At the end of the day cats are just easier for me. They are more apt to entertain themselves and be able to use the litterbox. Plus with apartment living, I didn’t have the space for an active dog and my (now ex) husband was not a dog lover. Plus I would consider myself more cat like than dog like…happy one minute, pissy the next, always wanting food, sleep, and a lover of only certain humans who avoids most others if I can 😉
When I moved to Westmoreland, I acquired a few stray dogs over the years that stuck around for a bit, but ultimately they would get bored and destructive because they weren’t getting the attention and exercise they needed. I was commuting back and forth to Nashville and also MTSU and I just didn’t have the time to give them the attention they deserved. Keeping them inside also wasn’t ideal because I had a good number of cats even then and Felix is terrified of dogs (he had an encounter as a kitten that set that mentality for the rest of his life it seems). So they had to leave, particularly when I was the only one who would have been taking care of them. It just wasn’t possible 🙁
At some point I would love to have another dog, particularly one that would get along well with cats. We’ve talked about bigger breeds we are familiar with (Brent had a German Shepherd) and also medium sized ones like Corgis and Shelties. But honestly, we just aren’t active outdoorsy people, even with working from home, to be able to keep one active and entertained. Plus we simply just don’t need ANY other animals.
So for now it’s a dream. Maybe one day when our cat population goes down. Or we can build a good sturdy fence. For now I just have to live vicariously through my friends who have pups of their own.
Though if we were to have a dog, I’d like to think he or she would be like this one: