You saw it, I’m a cat person. But now I’m a dog person too. Why did it take 18 years for that to change? Let’s start with the first time I remember interacting with a dog.
When I was in early elementary, my family lived in a little log cabin on our family farm (sound like Little House on the Prairie yet?). Anyway, one summer my uncle and his dog moved in with us. That meant we had to share the one bathroom with another person but that’s not the point here. It also meant that every time I went inside, his miniature dachshund named Max ran to the baby gate in the doorway of the downstairs bedroom and barked and jumped up and made such a terrible racket that I was terrified.
Is it kind of funny that I was afraid of a miniature dachshund? Maybe, but in my defense, Max was five pounds of pure fury.
Fast-forward to my life as an adult pre-last year. Dogs are fine. I’m not going to pet your dog, I’m not impressed, and I don’t really understand the hype, but dogs are fine. I am very happy that when I come home my cat Sheba greets me. Because unlike the dogs that I know, Sheba doesn’t bark. Sheba doesn’t jump up on me. Baseline: Sheba doesn’t scare me, although I would never admit that I am secretly afraid of dogs.
Fast-forward to spring 2016. My sister has finally worn my parents down about getting a dog, and against my fervent protests, she’s saved up the money to buy one and has found the perfect breed and breeder. Its a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from somewhere near Harrisburg.
When my aunt and uncle brought him to our house late one night in July, he was cute. I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s even a photo of me holding him (and smiling).
But when he started crying and yipping his first night in his crate and I laid in bed unable to sleep, I was cursing his existence all over again.
Still, what a cutie.
I’ll never forget the day that I thought sealed the deal for me as a dog-hater. I left my room for a moment without closing the door behind me (something I was doing religiously if only to prove to my family that I was serious about not letting the dog invade my space) and Charlie ran in when I wasn’t looking. I turned around just in time to watch him pee on my beautiful new rug that I had gotten for Christmas to complete my redecorated room. I swear he made eye contact with me too.
I’m not even sure but I’m sure that I grabbed him and tossed him out of my room screaming. That was it, he was worse than I thought. There I was, soaking up dog pee off my new rug with paper towels, yelling at my family who decided that the dog was a good idea. I had a new plan now. I wouldn’t feed the dog, I wouldn’t take him on walks, my door would stay shut at all time, I wouldn’t even acknowledge him.
But as the days passed, he was still so cute.