Note: This was originally published on my ‘new’, no defunct, blog. It is, therefore, out-of-date. But I hope you enjoy it anyway…
I’m dating. Yay me!!
You know in the movies how you find that special someone and they’re *everything* you ever wanted? Well, it doesn’t work like that in the real world. At least, not for me. She’s everything I want. But she has extras, more than I want.
She has a daughter and I’m fine with that. She’s a little like I was at that age and I wonder how she will develop over time. She’s the extra I don’t mind.
She has also two dogs.
I happen to like dogs although I’ve never had one as a pet. When I was younger, my dad was convinced that I wouldn’t remember to feed or walk a dog. It annoys me to say that he might have been right, even though I’m sure that a dog would have been quite happy to remind me about feeding and walking.
Dogs have useful communications skills, even if we ignore the yapping breeds. They are quite capable of conveying hunger via a clever combination of boundless enthusiasm (when you do food-related things like stand up, get out of bed, or leave the bathroom) and looking at you with very sad and hurt eyes (when you try to leave the house).
My girlfriend’s dogs’ skills fall mainly into the fur category.
Both of the dogs are black and I suspect that, if she could get away with it, she’d give serious thought to black floors, black sheets, black countertops — an overall Goth feel to the house. Her thinking would be that it would save on the endless vacuuming and cleaning the dogs generate as a result of shedding fur everywhere, all the time. I swear that when one of them sneezes, it briefly disappears in a cloud of fur that gently drifts around and disperses. Somehow this fur defies Einstein’s gravity and drifts upwards onto benches and clothes.
The dogs are both labradors although one of them has, umm, obviously come from a cleverer breeding line than the other, if you get my drift.
Yes, one of them is a little slow. For example, I thought all dogs knew how to play Fetch. It’s not complicated. I throw a ball or something similar, the clever little dog runs for it, picks it up, and brings it back. Some dogs struggle with the concept of returning the ball and only give it up at gunpoint. Other dogs will play the game long past the time when low blood sugar has turned their brains into those of goldfish. In my girlfriend’s case, the…slower…dog doesn’t quite get the concept. He may run off to the ball and gaze at it. He will look at it, deep in thought, as if perhaps it might open and reveal some mystery of the universe or–more importantly–a cache of dog food. Or he will run past it without picking it up, and return happily, mission accomplished. Huh? From now on, I’ll call this dog Harry.
The other dog is much quieter and easier to play with. His only downfall is that he’s large for a labrador. As in, OMG, he’s heavy! He saddens me sometimes because he’s so sweet. Every time I visit, he will run off and get a ball or bone for me to take off him and throw for him to fetch. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been outside to empty the trash or been gone for a few days. The sad thing is that I often don’t notice the ball for a while, sometimes until he drops it. But he never gives up and is always cheerful to see me. Awwww. From now on, I’ll call this dog Barry.
If you come over for dinner, remember to be clear whether or not you want fur on the side. If you don’t, we might need to cook it next door and bring it over when it’s ready. I hope you’ll understand.