It has been over twenty years since I walked into a house empty of dogs. No golden retriever spinning around my legs. No yellow lab thumping her tail from the top of the stairs. No sloppy kisses, no smiling retriever lips, no dancing brown eyes.
I finally stopped crying all the time. Life must go on. But everywhere I go there are still reminders. Christmas collars. Leashes. Scarfs. Makes me wince when I see all the paraphernalia I have accumulated over the years, for dogs. I couldn’t bear to throw everything away, so I gave away all the perishable goods, and washed and cleaned all the other stuff and stored it on a shelf in my basement. I have said all along I will NEVER get another dog, it is too painful, they are just too damn human to me. But I have learned to never say never. The circumstances of my life could change, and another dog may enter. Who knows, the man of my dreams who is going to sweep me off my feet might have a whole house full of dogs and want to share them with me.
I have thought about fostering, but my sister made a good point. I would never give them up. I would just keep taking them in. That’s why I only lasted one day when I volunteered at the animal shelter a few years back. I cried the whole way home, not wanting to leave those animals in cages for the night.
So what’s a dog lover to do? Turn back into a cat lover. I have had cats most of life too, and they are cool in their own way. I took in Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat a few months back, a “gift” from my sister, complete with fleas. Simon has really come around, and acts a lot like a dog. He is big as some dogs, at 21 pounds. He now has his own office chair at my desk, and sits next to me all day, napping while I work on the computer. He likes it when I spin him around. He trots after me wherever I go, unless he knows I am coming right back. At night he sleeps curled up on his little round kitty bed on my bed, or under the covers on chilly nights. He is very polite in his sleeping habits and does not take up too much room or present me with his rump in my face the way most cats do. He will sleep in as long as I want, and doesn’t meow at me for kitty food or other silly things. He loves a good belly rub, and loves to pat my face with his big soft paws. He also comes right up to me and kisses me. Its obvious the cat is smitten, lol. He’s my boy. A big, beautiful boy.