Life without dogs would be so empty and sad, I think. They fill essential needs: comic relief, cheering me up at the end of a crummy day, on-demand snuggles and of course, unconditional love.
I believe that teenage boys derive a great benefit from having pets in the house, as they may become uncomfortable receiving hugs from Mom, but still need some tactile form of affection. Sometimes, in the adolescent years and beyond, when no one in the world understands you, your dog will hear you out and agree wholeheartedly with your position, demonstrating this consensus by licking your face. We all need that from time to time.
My first dog was Nathaniel, whom I adopted in my second year of law school. He had a million nicknames, among them Nunny, Mr. Puppy and Beeb. I have no idea why. He lived with me in NYC in my apartment across from law school, and probably saved my life many times over. I hated law school and could have easily curled up in a ball in my apartment, never to be seen again, but for the fact that I had to walk Mr. Puppy several times a day. That momentum kept me rolling along, into my classes and doing my work. He was really my first baby.
Roscoe had strong political beliefs (his favorite toy was a likeness of a politician who shall remain nameless).
When MYS-27 was getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah, he had to do a project that demonstrated being a good citizen. He chose to adopt a homeless dog, and that was Roscoe, a Lhasa apso mix from the mean streets of Bridgeport. We really loved Roscoe, who was also called Mr. Puppy. He was very cute but sadly had been abused in his previous life and had a tendency to viciously bite. I have many scars to prove it. He then developed diabetes insipidus which resulted in his peeing copious quantities all over the place. I had to give him shots of insulin – this ferocious beast! Good luck with that! Peanut butter on a plate distracted him sufficiently. However, he just got worse and worse healthwise, and he crossed the rainbow bridge in 2006.
By that time we had adopted Lizzie, a cute little Maltese mix who was just a joy in every way. She let me dress her up for Halloween and was a very snuggly girl. When MOS-32 was having problems with depression, and I had to go to work, Lizzie was in charge of watching over him while I was gone, and she did an amazing job. She would do funny Lizzie things to cheer him up and never left his side.
Who ate the pretzels? Not me, says Lizzie!
Lizzie was very food-oriented and seemingly could fly through the air. Once I came home to discover that an entire 5 pound box of matzoh, sitting on the counter, had had its top layer sheared off by SOMEONE. Process of elimination pointed to Liz as the guilty party. She also jumped up on the island and got into the Halloween candy one year, eating the ones she liked and throwing only the York Peppermint Patties on the floor for Roscoe. Liz was about 7 when we adopted her, and she was with us for 10 years until she had to be put to sleep in 2011.
How is this not a cat? Who could resist this little guy?
In 2003, we adopted Simon, a shih tzu mix (mixed with cat, I think). Simon was a beautiful white/beige fuzzball and had a lot of cute tricks such as sitting up and waving his paws in the air when he wanted something. He had skin problems and had to be bathed often. After bathing, he would become Wild Dog, with his eyes bulging out, barking “Arr, arr, arr,” like a pirate, and jumping in every direction at some perceived enemy. That was so funny to watch. Towards the end, he had to wear little doggie diapers (the best invention ever), but looked very dashing in the many patterns I bought for him. He died in July 2012, in my arms as I was driving him to the vet.
In 2010, we adopted Billy, a Facebook dog. My high school friend’s dog had puppies. She posted the pictures on FB. MOS-32 and his then fiancée decided to adopt one of them. All the other littermates were adopted, except for poor Billy, so at the last minute, I decided to take him. He was supposed to remain small, but he grew to be 22 lbs. He gets to visit with Gemma, his sister, almost every day, because she comes to our house for doggie daycare.
Billy and his sister Gemma, plus sibs Yeah, he’s going to be a tiny dog…NOT!
The distinguished gentleman, William Jefferson Levy
Right before Simon died, we adopted Rosie, who is a Yorkie/Shih Tzu mix. I didn’t think I could deal with another dog-ter after Lizzie died, but Rosie really channels Liz. It’s eerie. She has a great love of chewing on soft plastic, and managed to almost electrocute herself by chewing through an electrical wire right after we adopted her (before I had time to enroll her in pet insurance, of course). I yanked her off the wire, not knowing that could have been a fatal error for ME, and shook her back to life. She spent some time in the ICU but since then has been fine. She still likes to steal soft plastic at any opportunity, including all of the rings on my grandson’s ring-stacking toy, a pair of my glasses, pens, lipstick tubes – you get the idea. She also does a great imitation of a meerkat.
My dog-ter Rosie, with her electric personality
Now we have just Rosie and Billy, plus Gemma for doggie daycare, 3 young, very energetic dogs, after years of sedentary older dogs. They are a little more unruly and a little less housebroken than I would prefer, even though they have been through obedience training, but I love them so much.
Can YOUR dogs poop in Hebrew?
Anyone else want to share their tales of furry children?