Friday, February 1, 2008

My Mangy Mutt

I knew I wanted a dog since ... oh, I don't know ... birth. I was equally boy and animal crazy growing up. We always had a family dog and I also had a horse, so there was the inevitable influx of animals on the ranch where I boarded my horse--kittens, puppies, geese, you name it, we had it and I tried to bring every baby version of whatever animal I could home. To which my practical mother always said "nope." I'm sure that did nothing to fuel the already burning fire.

But then college entered the picture and you can't have a dog in the dorms, or in the house you share with roommates who don't share your canine fascinations. So finally years later and after buying my first place in Portland, I decided this was the time. I was going to go "just look" for a puppy at the Humane Society.

Walking through the Humane Society in Portland is actually not as depressing as I thought it was going to be. It's a bright, large, well run organization and the dogs all appered to be happy, clean and ready to find good homes. I wanted to say yes to all of them, and had I not gotten distracted, I probably would have.

I turned the corner of one of the aisles and ran smack dab into a huge pen of chubby yellow puppies all of whom were rolling on top of each other, barking and jumping and were quite possibly the cutest sight I've ever seen. All of a sudden one puppy came from the back of the pen and walked to the glass, right in front of me looking at me the entire time and then sat down and cocked her head as if to say "you ready to go?"

I asked the volunteer if I could see her, picked her up and cuddled her in my arms for a little while before asking her if she wanted to come home with me. At that question she literally put both of her paws on my face and gave me a wholehearted lick. Done deal. Two days later I had my puppy.

I'm sure there will be many stories of my mutt on this blog as she constantly charms me, cracks me up, drives me crazy and comforts me. The last couple of days I've been home with the flu--a coughing mess with no voice and runny eyes and a lack of ability to do anything other than sleep or watch movies I've already seen 100 times. But she's been here the whole time, curled up at my feet, poking her head up when I have a bad coughing spell and resting her head on my leg when it's over.
And so, to those of you fellow dog lovers, you know as well as I do--not only do they choose us, but they take care of us way more than we take care of them.