A Dog of One’s Own

About those animals…  Let’s get this straight:  I am not an animal hoarder.

We, and by we I should say I, but we’ll get to that later… we have two cats and two dogs.  It has been a slow and steady pace of acquisition to get to this point, starting in 2004 when I got the first pet, my black cat Panther.

Truth be told I was terrified of cats.  I’ve grown up around dogs and other animals my entire life, and if I could have had my druthers I would have abducted the family dog from my parents’ house to live with me.  But I was in grad school, living in subsidized graduate housing (i.e. cheap ass housing), and we were not allowed to have dogs, but we could have cats, hamsters, fish, etc.  So I settled on a cat.

Why?  I needed to take care of something! I needed a pet! I have this insane impulse to care for things, and by things, I mean people and creatures and plants etc.  If you come to my house I will feed you.  I keep the shelves stocked as if an army of people live at my house (altho an army sometimes does, but again that’s a story for another time).  My friend B claims that he loses weight when he doesn’t see me for a while.  But I digress…

I got my second cat Benny as a companion for Panther in 2009 after a peeing spree outside the litter box.  I was spending a lot of time away from home and he wasn’t having it.  So I got him a friend.

At this juncture I must explain that when we were growing up in the very non-rural suburb of Daly City, my father would come home every so often with a ‘surprise.’  A rabbit, some chicks, roosters, hens, parakeets, homing pigeons, a hamster, a canary, a puppy, (never a cat), would make their appearance at our house and get folded into our lives.  My mother would tolerate these shenanigans the best that she could.  (You can read into that sentence like gangbusters)

After our last and most beloved family dog passed away several years back, my dad didn’t have the heart to get another dog, and my mom was enjoying her first pet-free home in decades. But a couple years ago, he approached me with a plan:  I could get him a dog as a gift and my mom wouldn’t be able to say no.  Easy right?

My dad had shown a keen interest in terriers for the last few years so I found, on craigslist, an adorable terrier mix puppy, originally from the shelter, that was looking for a new home due to allergies.  Unfortunately after a few months, my dad had to admit to some debilitating allergies of his own.  (Yeah, did you read about all the animals we used to have — who’d have known?)  So, the pup came back to live with us.

I attempted to find him another dog — this time something hypo-allergenic — so I found a miniature poodle, again on craigslist, but my sister fell in love with it and kept it.

But hell, let’s be honest, I wanted MY dog.

**(Craigslist is an amazing place to find pets, btw.  You can find lots of animals who need homes but whose current families don’t want to take them to the shelter)**

There has been and continues to be a lot of 2am basketball playing/ rapping in the church yard next door.  The sensation when one is lying in bed is akin to having rappers in the kitchen. But then the situation escalated from annoying to alarming when D’s roofracks got stolen.   Anyone who is familiar with our house knows that the terrier mix practically calls to and welcomes people on the street to come to our house. And the poodle, while she is a great barker, well you can just kick her.  The cats are useless.   Cute, but useless.

The natural solution to this situation is a big dog.  So I, of course, dutifully began my search back on craigslist.  I replied to a few ads for dogs that needed homes, went to see a few, and was freely handed a big puppy, found dumped at an exit off the 110 freeway.

She is as yet unconfirmed but we speculate that she is a lab mixed with perhaps great dane or mastiff and continues to grow to an undetermined size.  Currently she is 5.5 months and 55lbs and we are completely in love and inseparable.

The poodle has found her place at my parents’ house, beloved by my mom in particular, and we have settled into a 4-pet household.  And I got my very own dog… who makes enormous poop.





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