One of Those People

I have a friend. Don’t be a smart-alec. Obviously, I have more than one friend, but this particular friend has a dog and…well, there’s just no nice way to say it… she’s one of those people. You know what I mean. The sort who goes around announcing to anyone who’ll listen that her dog is the best dog in the whole entire universe. Okay, so I do that, but those people are the characters who actually believe it, and we know that can’t be true, what with my Pudge in the picture and all.

Anyway, my friend has this dog.  It’s one of those tiny, little, yappy things that weighs in at five, maybe ten pounds max. By the way, have you ever noticed those people (especially the kind who adopt tiny, little, yappy dogs) know exactly how much their dogs weigh?  It’s never, “Oh Buttercup weighs around five pounds.” Nope. It’s more like,”Buttercup should weigh five pounds, but she only weighs four,” punctuated by a coquettish giggle, as if having a skinny dog implies the owner is likewise runway svelte. Normal people don’t know how much their dogs weigh. They just don’t.  Take me for example.  I know on any given day Pudge weighs somewhere between 38.2 and 39.6 pounds, but I never know her exact weight. Goodness knows, I love her like the dickens, but I’ve got too much going on to be weighing my dog more than once week. Sheesh.

Princess in her Eli Manning jersey, "I asked for Matt Ryan."

Princess in her Eli Manning jersey, “I asked for Matt Ryan.”

Back to my friend and her dog whom I’ll call “Princess” (the dog, not my friend although her husband and kids might disagree). So a few months ago this friend posted a photo of “Princess” on facebook.  “Princess” was wearing a tiny, little doggie New York Giants football jersey.  As if dressing your dog in clothes isn’t bad enough, but a New York Giants football jersey? Seriously? And of all players, Eli Manning?  What…were there no tiny, little doggie RG3 and Matt Ryan jerseys available? I mean if you’re going to put your dog in a football jersey, at least be sensible about it. The thing is this friend of mine is a good friend…a really good friend, as in childhood-through-college-roommate kind of friend. The sort of friend with whom you used to sit around, eating popcorn, making fun of those people, vowing never to become one, only now she has…become one.

I suppose it could be worse.  This friend of mine could be one of those women who suddenly at age 40 decides it’s time to stop coloring her hair because it’s bad for the environment, who for some nonsensical-why-fight-gravity-reason quits wearing a bra, and once the last kid heads off to college, ends up fostering nine plus cats. Don’t get me wrong, I like cats as much as the next guy, but you have to admit there is a fine line separating odd from creepy, and grey-haired women with low-swagging bosoms who collect cats… Well, you get the picture.

I suppose if you’re going to become one of those people, it’s better to do it over a dog than a cat. For one thing, have you ever seen a cat in any sort of clothing? Of course not. And before you argue, those stupid collars with little bells on them don’t count. I’m talking cats in sweaters, raincoats, sunglasses, Halloween costumes. Think about it.  You never see that and do you know why?  It’s because cats don’t appreciate the attention, that’s why. In fact I’m pretty sure cats don’t even like people. We just come with the litter box. It’s true. Try having a conversation with a cat. Nothing. Try asking a cat for his opinion. Nada. But rest assured, you can always depend on your dog for reassurance.

I discovered this recently while trolling the aisles of Target. This really cute pink, brown, and yellow sweater caught my eye.  I’m not usually an impulse buyer, but this sweater looked like it could have come from one of those trendy stores like Gap or United Colors of Beneton and the price was right so I grabbed it. The instant I left the store, I began to second-guess my impetuous purchase and so, immediately upon arriving home, took it out of the bag to get Pudge’s opinion on the matter. I should mention the stripes are horizontal, which any fashionista will tell you is a primo couture no-no, but Pudge agreed this sweater was an exception, and warranted purchasing. The point being, you can always depend on your dog for reassurance.

So, if you’re going to turn into one of those people, by all means do it over a dog and not a cat. Still, as cute a nugget as little “Princess” is, I am finding it difficult to reconcile with the idea that one of my very dearest friends has become one of those people.  I can’t figure out how or when it happened, but it did. I suppose I just ought to be grateful it isn’t me.

Pudge in stripes

Pudge, in her pink, brown, and yellow horizontal striped sweater, wants to know “Does this make me look fat?”


Happy National Hug Your Cat Day

Today may seem like just another ordinary day, but it’s not. Today is May 30, 2012, which, I am told, means it is National Hug Your Cat Day. Seriously, I looked it up to see if it’s legit and it is, but I can’t help wondering.  Do the cats know about this? I don’t have a cat (never have – I’m a dog person) so I don’t know much about them, but it seems to me cats generally are not the hugging types. I suppose that’s why cat people need a special holiday on which to hug their pets.

Humor is the best medicine for what ails you.

The way I see it, the world’s population is divided into two categories:  cat people and dog people.  That’s not to say if you like cats you can’t like dogs and vice-versa, but people typically fall into one camp or the other.

Take me for example. I’m a dog person, and still, I think cats are pretty cool. The best thing about cats is they are low maintenance. I was talking to a friend (cat person) who happened to mention she’d gone out of town for a long weekend and left her cats at home alone.

“You left your cats alone? In your house? For an entire weekend?” I asked, thinking I can’t even get on my treadmill without barricading the dog in the kitchen.

“Sure. I do it all the time. I set out enough food and water to last as long as I’ll be gone and make sure to leave them with a clean litter box.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Nope. Now, I can’t leave them for more than about three or four days, but yeah. They’re fine on their own. Sometimes I think they prefer it when I’m not there.”

Sheesh. You can’t even leave a goldfish for more than a day without finding the little guy floating, belly up, at the top of the bowl. When I go out of town I have to board my dog at the kennel, which inevitably causes her to poop in the living room for a couple of days upon my return in order to punish me for leaving her in the first place. Unlike my friend’s cat, my dog prefers it when I’m there.

Yes indeed, cats are low maintenance all right. No need to walk a cat, or bathe a cat, or entertain a cat for hours on end playing fetch, or clean up after a cat who’s unraveled an entire roll of toilet paper just for the fun of it, and certainly never a need to pry your favorite Kate Spade sandals out of a cat’s mouth. Cats are low maintenance pets, which makes owning one very appealing. In fact, it makes me wish I was a cat person…but I’m not. Unfortunately, I’m a dog person and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Pet orientation is not something you choose. It’s as much a part of a person as race or height or eye color and for me, dogs are the bomb. I’ll take a dopey, drooling, smelly, mangy dog over a dignified, tidy cat any day of the week.

For one thing, dogs don’t snub you the way cats do. A mere glance at a dog sends him into seizures of joy. No ifs, ands, or buts…dogs flat out lovelovelove you, and they’re not ashamed to show it.

Loving a cat, on the other hand, is like harboring an unrequited crush on the captain of your high school football team. You know he’ll never notice you and yet, you never give up trying to get his attention, and when you finally do, he stares back blankly wondering who you are or worse ignores you altogether.

It seems to me cats generally are not the hugging types. I suppose that’s why cat people need a special holiday on which to hug their pets. Today may be National Hug Your Cat Day, but every day is hug-your-dog-day.

Don’t Kiss the Dog

Humor is the best medicine for what ails you.

I love my dog, Pudge. What’s not to love? She’s loyal, and smart, and cute. She’s the best dog in the whole entire universe. Even so, she is not allowed, under any circumstances, to kiss me. I don’t kiss her either. I will hug her, cuddle her, scratch behind her ears, and rub her belly till the cows come home, but no kissing. I simply will not allow it.

My kids think kissing the dog is perfectly acceptable. In fact, when Christian comes home after having been away at college for months at a time, the first thing he does is kiss the dog. No affectionate greeting for mama when he walks through the door. Nope. No leaping into my waiting embrace, proclaiming how much he missed me. Nope. He drops to his knees and kisses the dog AND he lets her kiss him back AND he seems to enjoy it. Blechkkk. Dog germs.

I am forever ballyhooing around the house, shrieking things like THAT’S DISGUSTING and YOU’RE GOING TO GET SICK and DON’T KISS THE DOG. They just stare at me like I’m a crazy person, ignore my rantings and go right on kissing the dog.

“STOP KISSING THE DOG,” I protest, shaking my fists.

“Ma, everybody knows dogs’ mouths are way cleaner than peoples’ mouths,” they argue matter-of-factly.

I’ll tell you something. When everybody says dog’s mouths are cleaner than peoples’ mouths they are thinking about one thing. Bites.

My son, Jared, was two years old when he chomped right through the flesh in my thigh. Within a day the wound was festering pus and smelled like my kitchen sink the morning after a piece of raw meat lodges itself in the garbage disposal.

Pudge, on the other hand, recently nipped at my husband leaving him with a punctured lip (no they were not kissing – he was trying to get her off the couch). Anyway, the wound healed without complications or infection in something like a day and a half, and I have a 14 year-old scar on my leg where Jared sunk in his teeth.

I hate to admit it, but human on human bites are more likely to get infected than dog on human bites. Obviously this means dogs’ mouths are “way” cleaner than peoples’ mouths, right? Everybody knows this, right? WRONG.

Everybody, except for me. I do not know dogs’ mouths are cleaner than peoples’ and on top of that I don’t give a hoot what everybody knows because everybody is wrong. AND, if everybody jumps off a bridge are you going to jump too? I don’t think so. Dogs’ mouths are NOT, I repeat NOT, cleaner than peoples’ and I have proof.

Pudge licks her butt. There…I said it. Don’t act all high and mighty, like your dog is above licking his own butt. Remember, Pudge is the best dog in the whole entire universe and if she licks her butt, your dog for sure licks his butt. All dogs lick their butts.

The thing is, people do not lick their butts (at least none I know). So I ask, how can dogs’ mouths be cleaner than peoples’ mouths? I’ll tell you how. THEY CAN”T. Dogs’ mouths’ are not cleaner than peoples’ mouths so stop kissing the dog and go kiss your mother.

Dogs are loyal and they love you like the dickens. Unfortunately, they also lick their butts, and if that’s not enough to keep you from kissing the dog and vice-versa, they’ll drink out of the toilet every chance they get.

Loyal and loving, butt-licking toilet drinkers…dogs will be dogs. Go ahead. Kiss the dog. See if I care, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.