I was raised by dog people.
Before I came along, Mama and Daddy were one of those childless couples who filled their photo albums with pictures of themselves with their much-beloved dogs. When I was born, I joined my brother Judge in all the pictures.
Mama and Daddy LOVED that dog. His registered name was actually Chief Justice of Blue Haven, Blue Haven being what they had christened their land. Judge stories abounded. Mama swore that I learned to walk by holding on to this very patient dog's collar. One of their best friends swore that Judge walked up to her once and said "I'm hungry" in a sort of Scooby Dooish voice. The dog was brilliant.
Our first dog that I remember was my sweet, precious Fido.
Mama had desperately wanted a poodle, a breed which Daddy deemed ridiculous and girly. He agreed to get the poodle only if we named the dog Fido, the most over-the-top poodle name he could think of. On his registration papers, Daddy insisted on spelling it Fideaux, which he thought was hysterically pompous. Fido proved himself to be decidedly NOT poodlelike, always into trouble with skunks and such. I loved that dog. Unfortunately, Fido's second favorite hobby after chasing skunks was chasing cars, and so his life ended tragically.
After Fido came Abe, and after Abe came Rover. And then, when I was in 7th grade, I talked them into letting me get...a cat. That's right, a cat. Her name was Tatta. And yes, the 7th grade me named her, and I'm not sure why.
Tatta was Mama and my baby. We adored her. Daddy, the dog man, pretended to hate her. He always refered to her as "that cat". But secretly, we knew he loved her too. We would always catch him with Tatta asleep on his lap, and he'd feign ignorance "I don't know why this cat is on me. She got up here and I couldn't get her off."
About a year after Tatta joined us, we got Lady, our first female dog ever, who Daddy registered as First Lady of Blue Haven. Lady was very sweet, but as dumb as a stump. If I walked into my bedroom and came out wearing a hat, Lady would freak out barking because she didn't recognize me. That's dumb. However, she was the only dog we had who didn't end up a victim of the road, so maybe not so dumb. Tatta loved her deeply.
Tatta and Lady lived happily together for long and happy lives, both living far after I had grown up and moved away. After Daddy died, they were Mama's loving companions.
When I got my first apartment on my own, I decided I too wanted a companion, and since dogs weren't allowed in my apartment, I got a cat, and this was the beginning of my many years as a Cat Lady. You can read a post about my Cat Ladying HERE, which features a rather creepy Cat Accumulation Timeline. I hadn't set out become a cat person, it just...happened.
And then, after our last kitty, Imogene, passed away at the age of 23...
...we got Fancy.
Santa Claus brought her to us on Christmas morning 2009 and suddenly...I'm a dog person again!
Fancy is possibly the sweetest, mellowest, most easy-going dog that ever lived on the Planet Earth. She never barks, barely sheds, never chews, never seems to have to pee, and loves us all deeply. I can't believe that I lived so long without a dog. Soon after Fancy joined our family Jude said to me "Mama, hearts are coming out of my head. That's what happens in cartoons when you love a dog." And it's true. Fancy makes hearts come out of my head.
But now...I'd kind of like to get another cat. A teeny little kitten. Wouldn't that be sweet? Then Fancy would have a little pal to hang out with. They could be like Lady and Tatta. I need to start working on Jimmy.
Which are you, a Dog Person or a Cat Person?
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