I have animals. Actually, I have a lot of animals. When I met up with my current spouse my father told him I'd "animal him to death". Maybe that's true....but he doesn't seem to mind. Mostly.
I had cats growing up and when I moved out on my own, I wanted cats again. So I told my then spouse that I was going to get a cat and he said, basically, over his dead body. So I got a cat. He was a little insecure but a lovely cat all around.
Then I got another. A year or so later, another, and at the end, we had 4 cats. All sweet little things except the Siamese who had an attitude. She liked me but that was about the extent of her social graces. The rest had, um, some issues.
I moved on. New man, new cats; slightly neurotic cats. But it wasn't my fault. Really. Strays have issues. Strays living in a noisy house with kids, one of whom wants to dress them up in doll clothes, have bigger issues.
Then...oh yes then, we got dogs. 5 indoor cats weren't quite enough animal husbandry. We required larger, more unruly, creatures in our immediate living space. Bring on the dogs. Loud, barking, trash eating, hole digging, mud rolling, poop eating creatures who loved me unconditionally, usually while covered in cow shit.
The first two were nice, calm, bright dogs until one got creamed by a truck 3 weeks after we brought her home. Not a good day. The other was a fabulous dog, even though she was afraid to go into the house. No clue why... but she figured it out and from then on, was everything you would want in a dog other than the running off to tear up the neighbor's garbage but, hey, she's a dog.
Then the neighborhood kids thought we needed another stray dog so they brought a barking, running off machine of a dog. I love animals but I could have choked the life out of that one with my bare hands. I found her a new home so she could annoy someone else.
Soon-to-be-ex-hubby decided I needed a puppy so along came the sweetest, most neurotic and needy dog I've ever met. Loved him to pieces but he had issues. I'm talking issues like ISSUES. Nice of the former owner to tell me that his mama was so neurotic she ate his sofa. Ate the sofa. Didn't tear it up a little bit. Didn't pull the liner out from under it. ATE IT. Nice....this is information he probably should have shared with me. Before mine ate a hole through the kitchen wall. Before he chewed the upstairs woodwork. Before he ate two of my favorite pairs of shoes. Um, yeah, I'd have liked to have known that. But it wasn't my fault he was a bit, um, insecure. I got him that way.
New spouse, same dog plus spouse's disobedient, thinks she a bloody cat, snooty dog. Mine glued to my hip as usual. Whining like the world is coming to an end if I left without him. Running beside the quad or truck as I drove them wherever I was driving them. Bringing me baby things: birds, squirrels, rabbits, never breaking the skin, because he knew I like them. Sitting in the driveway looking despondantly up the road until he saw me coming home. Gotta love that kind of devotion. Me that is. He drove everyone else insane. Whining, howling, up yer butt affection. Short drive to the land of insanity although everyone loved the howling. But I didn't make him that way. He came that way.
Old, snooty dog went off to where old snooty dogs go and in came a new dog. Hyper, loud, funny as hell dog. Bit everyone, in the nicest sort of way. Not mean biting; hyper, unruly, poorly trained cattle dog biting. Spouse thought this was funny. I wanted to choke them both.
Lost both dogs. Sad. Got a new dog. An unknown dog with unknown genetics and a major fixation with goats. Not good. A fence charging, goat mauling, completely loving little terror of a cattle dog. He had to go. But before he went, I paid an outrageous amount of money to get yet another cattle dog from a rescue. Another sweet little dog...with issues.
Goat mauling dog moved on to someone without goats. Sweet, neurotic dog stayed and spouse again remarked that I made her that way. Um...no. She came that way. She's my big dog reincarnated or something, without the adorable howling and not so much whining. Still up yer butt and under your feet. Still miserable when not in my company. Still whines pitifully when she's outside and I'm in. Picture this: cute little dog sitting outside my smoking window whimpering to come in and sit in my glowing, god-like presence. Yeah....unh huh, but not my fault.
Spouse decides we need another dog to keep her company (keep him company) from the same gene pool as the original biting cattle dog so off we go to the cattle dog farmer's house to order up a new dog. I picked her. I like calm, smart, sweet, non-aggressive dogs. She's that. She's a sweety. She bites spouse. He thinks it's funny, that is until she draws blood. Which happens almost daily. And he thinks I make them weird?
This one doesn't have issues. She's not noticeably neurotic. Further proof and vindication that I don't make them that way.
I take in strays mostly. I take in animals that have issues and behavioral oddities. I take them because most of the time, no one else wants them. They remind me of...well, of me. I take them because their quirks don't bother me; I have quirks of my own. We meld well. We bond. But I don't make them that way.
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