I am finally at the place in my life where I can truly say I love dogs. I was always a cat girl. Loved them, kissed them to death, smothered them and I swear I was one in a past life. Truthfully cats are my animal of choice. However, after many years of having dogs because of my husband, dogs are now my second favourite. I am not sure why I never loved dogs. I guess it is partly because I never grew up with one.
Then came my boyfriend at the time (now my hubby) who I then moved in with. He was separated and had the dogs as part of the agreement. I know, this was quite funny for me at the time. Then he got a big IT career where he was travelling to Brazil, Dallas etc. and guess what? I became the dog sitter. How did this even happen was what I kept thinking. So, while he was away, I scooped poop, walked the dogs, fed them and was even cornered one day by one of the dogs Norm. Norm was not sure if he was happy with his new step mom so he used intimidation tactics to scare the crap out of me and it worked! Then I settled in with them. Truthfully, I was still not convinced. They were big, smelly and the drool! Of course, being a basset hound, drool was part of the game.
I got married, had kids and still there were dogs. I even had a birthday party for the dogs before the kids, complete with guests and cake. No comment, please. Give me an “E” for effort.
Then came Sammi, basset hound #3. Sammi was the biggest challenge. This was her third home and she was 7 months old. Nobody really wanted Sammi. She was a huge challenge at a time, especially having a child with a trach, feeding tube and multiple other issues. She peed on carpets, ate through a couch and chair, barked and did not listen. On top of this, my daughter had severe anxiety over the dog. I don’t know how many times we discussed giving Sammi up, but somehow we managed with her. One thing was for sure, my love for dogs did not grow during this time.
Jump ahead to today where I am sitting on the couch and Sammi, now seven, is sitting on my lap (she did not get the memo that 70 pound dogs are not lap dogs). If I stop rubbing her belly, she takes her paw and brushes it on my arm to do it one more time. She waits for us at the door everyday and greets all of us like we were away for weeks. She loves to run around the dining room in a game of chase and catch. She sits upon the pillow on a wicker chair on our deck and joins us in our coffee talk. She does not drool, go figure, and does not smell. She growls at the door like she means business when a knock comes.
So, Sammi I want to thank you for changing my mind. In so many ways you taught me tolerance and understanding. You taught me to never give up in tough times. You helped our daughter work through her fears. Your gray hair is a reminder to us that you may only have three to four years of life, but I may consider having another dog one day, all because of you. For a long time I regretted having you, but I no longer do. You are the most loving dog I have known even though you were high maintenance, but who I am fooling … I still am high maintenance.
P.S. Thanks Sammi, in terms of my favorite animal you are now tied with the cats but don’t tell them. SHHH…