Puppy Love

29 Dec

I first fell head over heels in love in 1984. He had red hair and brown eyes and my heart skipped a beat at the mere thought of him (and that was well before my mitral valve issues). Two weeks later, I fell in love with his brother too – a dark-haired hunk whose zest for life was infectious.

So I took them both home.

We were quite a threesome, my first two dachshunds – Copper and Slate – and I. And in the years since there have been four more – Maddy Lou, Justin, Penny, and Watson – about whom I have felt just as giddy. So, in honor of the New Year and starting it off on the right foot, I thought I’d write about true love of the canine variety. Puppy love, if you will.

There are some people who think that true love is romantic in nature. But according to an online dictionary (we know it must be true if it’s online, right?), “romantic love” is when the chemicals in your brain kick in and you experience an emotional high, exhilaration, and elation whenever you and your love are together. That doesn’t just happen between humans. I dare any scientist to take a blood sample to see just what chemicals (besides caffeine and chocolate) are surging through my veins when I come home and my wiener dogs wag their tails and do their “We Love Her So Much We’d Almost Even Give up Chasing Squirrels for Her” dance.

It is important to show our love to the humans we can’t live without by letting them be right occasionally and remembering that liking them on Facebook is not enough.

But we owe our doggy loves even more. Talk about unconditional love – nothing my dogs do truly irritates me. Penny can piddle on the floor right in front of me because it’s raining outside and she prefers to be dry, and as hard as I try to be annoyed with her, I am still overwhelmed by the same rush of love I felt that day I adopted her from a rescue organization and she crawled into my lap as if to say, “Well, it took you long enough!” Watson can growl at me if I try to take away whatever stuffed animal he is busy unstuffing, but I just kiss his snout and say, “Oh, you don’t really mean that.” Justin can stand on my trachea at 4:07 a.m. because he’s decided that despite what the clock says, it really must be time for breakfast. As sleepy and grumpy as I usually am at that time of morning, I’ll still call him “Dog Muffin” as I’m serving up his kibble in the wee dark hours of the morning.

By the way, standing on someone’s trachea is an excellent way to wake them up. As long as you’re under 25-lbs.

It is difficult, however, to find the perfect way to celebrate love with a four-footed friend. Even I have a hard time – and I once threw Maddy Lou a debutante party to which my best friend Rhonda wore a hoop skirt and presented Maddy Lou with her own bone china tea set which I still have in my hope chest. I can’t imagine how much trouble it is for those of you who don’t have my party-organizing skills.

A candlelit  dinner for dogs is a little over the top. Not to mention that I really shouldn’t be allowed around an open flame. Or a stove. Greeting card companies make  cards from the dog (“I love you… despite the fact that you feed me all your peas and then blame me for the consequences”), but not TO them. That’s a darn shame if you ask me. And although I’ve been known to dress my dogs up coats and sweaters, doggy lingerie is a little too kinky even for me.

There are boutique pet stores in town that carry carob-coated doggy treats shaped like little hearts, but I know what my dogs really want – besides some table scraps that don’t consist primarily of tofu and brown rice. What they truly want to show them how much I love them is for me to sit on the couch for twelve straight hours without moving a muscle – no laughing, no blinking, and no breathing so deeply that my stomach goes up and down and interrupts their naps. They want me to be their  hostage. And that’s what they’re going to get. I’ve been practicing motionlessness and shallow breathing for a week now and will have it down pat by the time 2013 rolls around.

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One Response to “Puppy Love”

  1. Lily Belle January 25, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    My Mommy said she couldn’t agree more! We doxie’s rule the house and our humans love it. They do aything for us and in return we give them all our unconditional love. Life is good!

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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