May 3rd 2008 6:59 am
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“You are not a dog person.”
That is what a well-meaning friend on the other end of the line said to me as I wavered back and forth trying to decide whether or not I should take the leap and pick up a cute little Yorkshire Terrier puppy—that I had considered purchasing—and bring her home to love forever. I was in the car, on my way to the breeder’s home, but I pulled into a parking lot to get one last opinion before I reached the point of no return. I had already insisted to my husband that he help make the decision for me. Some help he was, telling me that it was ultimately my choice to make!
When my friend said that I was not a dog person, I had to admit that she was right. I really was not a dog person! Through the years, when I would go to friends’ homes, I’d politely pet their dogs, but I never really felt enthusiastic about them. As a child, I was even fearful of large dogs. Today, I am still intimidated by some tough breeds—the ones I refer to as “muscle dogs.”
However, I had entertained the idea of getting a dog for some time. After all, several of my friends had dogs, and I enjoyed listening to the stories they’d share about their dogs’ antics. Commercials on television would show loving families accompanied by “man’s best friend.” Everywhere, people had dogs, so I knew that there just had to be something to this dog ownership thing if so many people owned them.
I had often considered the idyllic fantasy of dog ownership. Just picture it: me and a cute little dog, taking walks, playing ball, her sitting cute and cuddly on my lap in the evenings as I pet her soft fur. I envisioned meeting other dog owners and making friends, discussing our cherished pets the same way I had discussed my children with other moms when my children were toddlers. But then there was the negative side of dog ownership to consider. There was the whole housebreaking situation: pee and poop on my carpet, the house smelling of dog. Bringing a dog into your home is a huge responsibility. Dogs require lots of attention, walking, socialization. Was I even cut out for the task? What if I decided it wasn’t for me? These questions loomed over me for some time. I knew that this decision was one to be taken seriously. After all, I had always looked down on people who took in pets, only to find that they were more work than they had anticipated. I had always had a sore spot for neighbors who own dogs, with whom they never seem to play. I always felt saddened when I thought of a lonely animal in a backyard with nothing else to do but bark. Why do those people get dogs? I always wondered. Did those people also have the same fantasy about dog ownership, but fail to consider the realities? I knew I could not be one of those neglectful owners, and I had to consider all of the sides to dog ownership before I made this life-long commitment.
So for a long time, I just tried to find what breed would suit me. I don’t know if I was really seriously considering getting one anytime soon, but I kept the idea nested in the back of my mind, waiting for the moment when I would find one that I knew was the right dog for me. Sometimes, I browsed the internet for information on the different breeds. I took breed match tests, but I was never really satisfied with the results. Who created these tests anyway?
So in the Summer of 2006, when my sister and I went to lunch to celebrate her birthday, I was not really expecting to decide then and there that I really did want a dog. I also had no idea that I would learn that what I wanted was a Yorkie. But that is what happened on that that particularly warm afternoon when I found a couple walking a cute little dog on a leash. She was sporting what I later came to know as the “puppy cut,” and I thought she was absolutely adorable. But you know what I still remember to this day as the one thing that made me want a dog like her? It was the way her cute little tail wagged back and forth when I asked if I could pet her. The image of that wagging tail stayed in my head as I later searched the internet for information about Yorkshire Terriers. What was the nature of the breed? What kind of care do they require? Could this be the dog for me? I pored over Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies for weeks. Everything I read caused me to cling more and more to the fantasy of dog ownership. It was settled! I was finally sure that I was ready to become a dog mom!!
When I was ready to take the leap and shared the news of my getting a dog, the last thing I wanted to hear was my mother saying to me, “you don’t want a dog! You’ll never be able to go anywhere again!” She was supposed to be sharing in the joy of my decision—not trying to change my mind! But that question weighed on me… What would I do with the dog when we went places? Christmas was coming, and we were planning on going all day to Disneyland. What would we do with a puppy while we were gone? Would we always have trouble coordinating outings when we have a dog to consider? How did other people do it? But I decided that I was ready anyway, and I made the plans to bring home our new family friend.
But on the afternoon of the day I was to bring home the little puppy we had visited a few weeks earlier, I hesitated. Was I positive I was doing the right thing? I could not answer that question, and I pulled off the road into a parking lot to make one last call to get confirmation of my decision. So when my friend told me that I was “not a dog person,” my heart sank, and it dawned on me.
She was right. I was not a dog person.
I hung up my cell phone and went home, convincing myself that I was making the right decision. It was settled. I was not a dog person. I would not get the puppy. I felt so saddened as I drove. When I got home, I sheepishly confessed to my husband that I had decided not to get the dog after all, that my friend had told me I was not a dog person, and that I had to admit that she was right.
I don’t know what it was, but when I awoke the next morning, I was almost irritated that I had let other people make the decision for me! So maybe I was not a dog person, but couldn’t I become one?? Empowered with my new-found determination, I hurriedly got dressed. I went to Petsmart and picked up two squeaky toys, a pack of 3 tiny balls, a collar, a bag of dogfood, two bowls, a crate, a plush crate bed, a brush, and a leash. I then got back in the car and headed to the breeder’s home. I picked up my cute little puppy, I put her in her crate, buckled it into the seatbelt, and commenced the journey of my life as a dog mom.
I named her Chloe.
Maybe I won’t tell you that as I drove home, I was struck with a moment of terror as I asked myself, “what have I done??”
What I will tell you is this: I don’t know when it happened, but sometime during the days and weeks that were to follow, I started to whole-heartedly adore this furry little bundle who would lick my face and jump at a squeaky toy and run to greet me when I came in the door. I found myself talking about her to everyone. I took her to Petsmart, where people would ooh and ahh over her, because, after all, she was so darned cute! When I took her places, people would start to talk to me about their dogs, and I discovered that I had so much in common with them. I started paying attention more and more to things I’d see and hear on television and radio about dogs. I discovered internet communities where I could learn more about dogs and yorkies specifically, and I learned that others out there loved their dogs this much too!
So now, it is about one and a half years later, and I currently have several hundred pictures of Chloe on my hard drive. I’ve racked up nearly 4000 posts between the several online communities where I have shared my love for her. She has more clothes than I do, and I am currently planning a summer vacation that revolves around her.
When I stop to consider how much my life has been enriched since Chloe came into it, I sometimes think back to that day that I sat in the car, talking on my cell phone to my friend before I went to bring home my puppy. I think of how I came so close to never knowing the joys of dog ownership—how I cam so close to never finding out one important thing about myself that I never knew before...
I am a dog person.
March 17th 2007 6:35 pm
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Mommy has been sewing again. The first picture shows me in my beautiful new red dress. I think I really like this one because when mommy made it for me yesterday and then put it on me, I wore it all day long and didn't try to bite it off once!
Mommy says that this picture with my over-the-shoulder pose makes me look like one of those doggie models in the dog clothing catalogs, but she says that I'm much prettier! I sure do feel pretty in this dress. It doesn't stop me from running around and jumping to catch the toys that she dangles over my head though. I'm still a pretty agile puppy!
I'm staying true to my house-breaking accomplishment! I haven't had an accident in the house in a long time. Mommy made it easy on me by hanging a bell by a long blue ribbon on the back door. Now all I have to do is ring it, and they'll let me out to take care of business.
I'm currently enrolled in Petsmart's intermediate training class. This one is a little harder. I'm having trouble with "heel". Mommy keeps saying that and trying to keep me close to her foot, but I'm so afraid my tiny foot will get stepped on. My trainer says not to worry, though, because she said she has a Chihuahua that took 4 months to learn "heel".
And guess what?! I was contacted by my brother. His name is Beamer, and he came from the same litter as I; he is finally here on Dogster. He's new, though, so he needs some pals to fill up his page. His Dogster id is 500186. So if you get a chance, send him a pal request!
Anyway, being a dog is tough work. I've only gotten in about 14 of my 17 hours of sleep for the day, so I must go now.
Until next time...
February 24th 2007 4:30 pm
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As you can see in the picture of me (above) sporting my new silver blue coat, I have had all my black puppy fur cut off. It is bittersweet for my mommy because she says I'm growing up; it is a good thing, but she will begin to miss my puppy days. However, we all agree that I look simply smashing in my new blue coat!
I have some good news too! At only five months old, I am housebroken!! I have not had an accident in the house in a couple of weeks! Mommy says that is amazing for us yorkies, as she was told to expect it to take about 10 months for me to be housebroken. I now either scratch at the door or ring the bell when I want to be let out to do my...er...business.
My mommy says that my only fault is that I am an extremely picky eater. Presently, I eat Royal Canin Puppy 33 with a sprinkle of freeze-dried liver powder on it. But, occasionally, I decide that I don't like eating and can go all day without food. Sometimes I do it for longer, but mommy gets upset when I do that.