Let me start by saying, it's my sister's birthday today. For those of you who are unaware, my sister is the brilliant child psychologist known around these parts as Dr. B. When I thought of how I should best acknowledge her today, I kept coming back to one thing— her DOG.
The dog's name is Roxy. Or as my sister insists on calling her— Mazzy's cousin. Yes, my sister is one of those people who takes her dog VERY SERIOUSLY. Roxy was my campanion down the aisle at my sister's wedding. And if you must know, the "Pooch of Honor" was billed higher than the "Maid of Honor" (me) on the program.
But the thing is, in order to talk about Roxy, I must confess something that I have only come to terms with fairly recently. Something that may alieniate me from the majority of the planet and turn you all off to Mommy Shorts forever. Something that means Oprah and I will *GASP* never be friends.
I AM NOT A DOG PERSON.
I am perhaps more afraid of sharing this fact with you than I am of admitting anything. Like that I am not always the greatest mother. Or that sometimes I wear the same outfit several days in a row. Or that I murdered my neighbor back in the eighth grade. That last one isn't true. But if I had murdered my neighbor, I think it might fall only slightly higher in the hierarchy of social pariahs than a person who doesn't like dogs. Allow me to demonstrate.
Now, before you start asking, "So you're a cat person then?" No, I like cats less than dogs. I'm not even sure I care for fish. Or plants for that matter.
Don't get me wrong— if you show me a picture of a puppy or a video of a cat sneezing or something, I will find it just as adorable as the next person. But if one of those furry little creatures starts pawing me and sticking his nose in my crotch? I am not pleased. I would rather lick the city sidewalk than have a dog slobber on my face. And if you start french kissing your canine friend in front of me? I will fight the urge to hurl my lunch on your carpet.
I want to like dogs. I try to like dogs. I have told many a potential suitor in my single days that I liked dogs. If I see a dog, I often say— "Oh he's cute! What's his name?" I'll pet him if he doesn't look like he's going to bite my hand off. I'll even dog sit for you if you ask me nicely (and it's not for more than an extended weekend).
But I don't know what to say to a dog. I find their neediness irritating. I can't relax if something insists on jumping all over me. And as I already mentioned, I'm not a fan of face slobber.
Although, having just read that back, I am aware that it sounds remarkably similar to my 15 month old child. Especially since we just started letting Mazzy run free in the playground and I have developed a sudden understanding for those people who put their children on a leash.
That's Roxy, Mazzy and my sister pictured up top. For the past year, I have silently watched as my sister poisons my child's brain into thinking that dogs are the best thing ever. Mazzy ADORES Roxy. She screams "DOGGIE!" when she sees her. She laughs when Roxy licks her. The look on Mazzy's face when she figured out the fine art of "fetch" was a beautiful thing. But all I think as Mazzy gleefully chases Roxy around my sister's place is how many blissful years I have left before the inevitable.
"Mom? Can I have a dog?"
I know it's coming.
(Please wish Dr. B a happy birthday in the comments and tell me I haven't alienated myself from you all forever with my lack of dog love. Unless I have. In which case, it's been fun. And bittersweet.)