I'm a dog person. Always have been I guess. About the only cat I could ever tolerate was Goldie, a poor tabby my wife accidentally backed over with the car several years ago. The auto-feline accident didn't make the papers. It was a subcompact car and Karen just kinda nicked Goldie's rear left-quarter panel. The cat limped around for a few weeks and we remain to this day convinced that his hitch was more pronounced when we were watching him, some sort of sympathy, "Feel sorry for me, you would-be-murderers" plea from a cat.
Goldie still lives today. He still flinches at the sound of jingling car keys. But he won't come back to our house, even though we ask, beg and plead, and insist we'll put no more tire marks on his backside if he'll just give us another chance. But no, Goldie spends his days sitting on the sidewalk directly across the street from us, staring at our house all day, like some freak horror cat from a Stephen King novel.
Enter Zoe. Zoe is our dog, a lab-mastif mix we think. Beautiful, loving, kindhearted, energetic, playful. She is a part of our family just as great dog owners insist the best dogs are. I love Zoe, and I don't easily or often profess my adoration for four-legged creatures. But Zoe's a great animal we obtained from the SPCA rescue facility out on Fairgrounds Rd., on Sept. 10, 2001. Since that day, she has seemed to have a unique way of communicating with us through her eyes and paws.
As much love as I feel for our family dog, I can still not quite figure out some of her odd, and frankly, sick habits. I know dogs are supposed to do these kinds of things. But I refuse to accept them.
We've taken Zoe to Midland's new dog park a number of times now. And she has a lot of fun. So much to do. So much pee to smell.
Which is where my problems with dogs begin. I'll just say one thing: when people meet friends at a ballgame, or when we have an important meeting at work, I'm so glad we don't start the proceedings by sniffing the other people in the room. We humans are so judgmental, a few odors and we'd be forced to cancel EVERYTHING.
I canNOT understand the joy dogs derive from the greet-and-sniff process. Surely there's a better way to get acquainted: comparing sticker-in-paw stories ... near-misses-by-cars stories ... gossip about the ugliest dogs that ever walked down the back alley. SOMETHING other than smelling another creature's hind quarters. It's one thing I've never quite comprehended about our canine friends.
The other thing: smelling other dogs' pee. There are NO toys at the dog park. NONE. But we really don't need any. I tried to throw Zoe a tennis ball the other day so she could fetch it and we could play. She couldn't break herself away from smelling pee in the grass long enough to bring me the ball back. Shows me where I rate.
If smelling backsides weren't enough, what's so darned interesting about smelling pee? And what are dogs thinking when they smell pee in the grass"
"HEY! HEY! HEY! Dog pee here."
"And a dog peed here."
"And here. ... Geez, it's EVERYWHERE."
"Hey, here too. What's the deal?"
"Nope, no pee here. BOR-ing."
"Ooooooh, more pee here."
You smell one tuft of grass with dog pee on it, seems to me like you've pretty much smelled 'em all, wouldn't you think? But what do I know, I'm only a two-legged human.
Dogs. I can't figure 'em out. But I love 'em. Well, at least the one.