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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Write Back Weekend "How Much Is That Doogie In the Window?"

My whole life, I've considered myself a dog person. In fact, I'm probably the biggest dog person you'll ever meet whose never actually owned a dog.

The main reason I have never owned a dog is simple; my mommy wouldn't let me. If it had been just me and my dad I'm sure I could have convinced him. In fact, together we tried to convince her, too. After all, she thinks they're cute, but she always felt that she'd end up the one taking care of the dog, not giving us, or mainly me, any credit in that department at all. My dad understood my desire to want a dog. He had dogs as a child. He also knew that being an only child, a dog could be a welcomed addition.

When I was little, the story I got was that I was probably allergic to animals since I had a lot of allergies. All of that was fine and good, but even if I was allergic to dogs, I think I would have been okay. I say this because my best friend growing up had plenty of dogs, mainly Irish Setters, and I was around them all the time and I felt fine. Long story short, I think it was an excuse.

One time those very same relatives came across a stray dog who looked a lot like Benji. They kept him for a few days and contemplated keeping him in the long run, but truth be told they didn't really have the room for another dog. My friend's mom, who was good friends with my mom, tried really hard to convince her to let me keep it. Alas, it never happened.

So now that I'm finally on the verge of branching out on my own my to do list looks something like this: get house, get dog. This is because the person I am marrying loves dogs like me. He has faltered a bit over the years about getting a dog, but I won't let him. He worries about the responsibility factor. I think it's silly because we're luckier than most considering he works from home. Granted, that being said, I still have a sinking suspicion I'll be doing most of the dog taking care of it ness, and I'm okay with that, really.

Just recently, we've begun to talk specifics where dogs are concerned. See although we already know we want a dog, we don't really know what kind of dog we want. So far it seems the types of dogs he'd be inclined to get are the opposite of the ones I'd be inclined to get. Isn't that always the way? He also thinks we should have two so they can keep each other company. In theory I think it's a great idea, but I still say we need to acclimate to one dog first before we do any add ons. I know in some ways it's easier training them together, and this way one is less likely to feel dominant, but on the other hand, even just going on breed generalities, you really don't know what your individual dog is going to be like until you get it home. Breaking in two difficult dogs at the same time is probably my worst nightmare regarding all of this.

Although we are both getting this dog, I can't help but feel what I want should trump what he wants. Is that bad? I only say this because I do know that I'm going to be the one taking care of it more and because I am the person who has been patiently waiting for this day my whole life. He's had dogs before, so it's not new to him. I waited so long for this experience, I think it's only fair I have a big say. That being said, I think I want a smaller to medium sized dog, preferably one that doesn't shed a lot, is not a big barker and who is cute and loyal, but doesn't scare visitors.

What he wants however differs. He agrees on the size, the shedding and the barking, but he's not really into cute dogs and he kinda digs the fact that he'd have a dog that would scare other people or at least protect us. While there's a time and place for a dog like that, I am not into getting a dog that protects me right now. I've been unprotected by one for years and done just fine. I want one who will cuddle up with me and watch TV at night or be excited when I come home, not aloof. I also don't want a dog that will scare neighbors cause chances are then he'll scare me, too.

But the type of dog I want and the type of dog I think I would be are two different questions. All my life I've been convinced I must have been a dog in another life. I have a lot of hair that sheds a lot and I have a great sense of smell. I also get an overwhelmingly feeling of sadness when people are being cruel to animals in movies or on TV. I know it's fake, but I get so, so sad. Even if it's a cartoon. I get sad for people too, but not in the same way. That has to say something about me.

So, to help me decide which dog is most like me, I took the same quiz that Sharkbait did in order to figure out how I measured up. Here were my results:

You scored 42.9% Jack Russell Terrier
This pint-sized explorer is the Dr. Livingstone of the canine world. Always ready for adventure, the Jack Russell Terrier is known to wander off at a moment's notice. Her life is never dull, and entertainment is key. Accepting in nature, she makes friends easily and is usually the center of attention wherever she goes. Her high energy and upbeat personality make the Jack Russell Terrier a fun-loving part of any family.

You scored 28.6% Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso may be petite, but she's very tough. Always ready to romp, her daily exercise requirements may leave her companions winded. Fond of her loved ones, she is likely to cuddle up with them at night, content to be doted on. Her long coat requires regular maintenance but is sure to turn heads when properly styled. The feisty and exuberant little Lhasa Apso has a well-earned reputation for her lovability.

You scored 14.3% German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a workaholic. Intent on business, this loyal breed is always on patrol. Suspicious of strangers, she defends her territory with a fierce reproach. When it comes to affection, she is tender and loving toward her pack and feels a deep responsibility for their well-being. Mental and physical exercise both appeal equally to the German Shepherd, and her intelligence is further enhanced by her dedicated nature. When it comes to dependability, the German Shepherd has the market cornered.

You scored 14.3% Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel feels the need to please. She tends to become overly submissive in her mission to make everyone happy but makes up for it with her sensitive nature. A brisk walk around the block is right up her alley, but she prefers to spend a good part of her time indoors. Her silky hair tends to become tangled, and regular grooming sessions are necessary to keep her looking her best. The accommodating Cocker Spaniel is truly a loving and trusted friend as well as an ideal companion.

So let's review the results, shall we? In some ways, I completely see the comparisons. However the terrier, which I'm the most like allegedly, is probably the description I least relate to. I like entertainment, but I like watching it and creating it, not being part of it. I never like to draw attention to myself either. I've also never been too keen on adventure in it's truest sense of the word. Meanwhile I like the fact that the Lhasa Apso is described as petite, but tough. I think that's a fair comparison to me. I also think my hair looks good when properly styled.

At first I didn't see how I could be like a German Shepard, but I guess I too am suspicious of strangers and remain guarded until I know someone. I also take responsibility and dedication seriously. Then there's the Cocker Spaniel, a breed I've always loved, that is described as being eager to please, preferring indoors and a sensitive, trusting soul. I also feel that this description is a lot like me.

So what have we learned? Apparently I match four very different breeds, but none of them overwhelmingly so. What does this say about me? To me this says that more than likely, I'm a mutt or a mixed breed which I truly think I'd be. I also wonder if that's what I'd lean towards getting, too and that's why my indecisive nature makes it so hard to pick just one. After all, I've never fit into any category and sometimes ways people have perceived me have even surprised myself. Like most dogs, I feel I am a loyal person and if you treat me well, I'll be your best friend for life. That and buy me dinner once and awhile.

Of course all this doesn't mean that the mixed breed of the Labradoodle still doesn't crack me up. But going on about that would be a lot like barking up the wrong tree, now wouldn't it?



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