Not My Dog

I want to tell you about my dog, that is not really my dog.     

My little grandson loves our big dog, but the dog is big and rough, just a bit too rough for a little kid, my H and I mused.  Last year, on a whim, we swung by the animal shelter and looked at the dogs.

We fell in love with one, part chihuahua, part who knows what.  Wait till GS gets a load of him.  We raced home to get our dog and bring him to meet the new dog.  Sadly, in the 10 minutes it took us to run home and back to the shelter, another family had already adopted him.  What timing.  We were bummed, but they encouraged us to go back to look at the dogs again and we did.  I’m glad, ’cause we found her.

A young chihuahua mix, brown, with lonely brown eyes.  We took her out into the yard and were fairly quickly in love anew.  She raced like a demon, and jumped into your arms.  She snuggled and kissed, and we knew GS would absolutely love her.   Grandson was with his mom, but the next day he met his new dog.  He was excited, and really rough and generally chased and terrorized the little thing.  She kept running away from him, to hide behind me.  In fact, it seemed the dog would go to almost no one else.  We figured she’d get more comfortable and hang with every one in time.  This was hard for GS to understand.  He immediately loved his dog, only to be discouraged when the dog would not stay with him.

We kept losing her, only to discover her burrowed under pillows, blankets, sweaters, and we learned very quickly to check the lumpy pillows for a dog underneath.  Curious, I decided to look up Chihuahua.  I found out some interesting information: Chihuahuas shake when they are excited, afraid, or cold.  Not because they are Chihuahuas.   They also like to burrow under blankets, etc., especially during cold weather.  Most importantly, I discovered that Chihuahuas are very one-person oriented.  They often pick one person of the family as their person.  I realized I was the dog’s chosen person.

I felt awful.  Here we pick out a young dog as a gift to GS only to have the dog basically reject him and prefer me.  I was GS’s favorite for a long time.  I was his first playmate and spent most of my time playing with or reading to him.  I encouraged him to again come sit next to me to read a book, and before long Itsy would come and snuggle up to us.  We walked her around the block together, and she slowly warmed up to the rest of the household.

Fortunately in the nearly one year we’ve had her, Itsy, has embraced the entire family, even going to GS to play for short periods.  She sleeps with me, and sits in my preferred chair, when I am not in it.  I’m in awe of this little dog and her devotion to me.  I am acutely aware that she “belongs” to GS, but feels like the family dog.

I secretly feel good that she misses me especially when we’re gone, and that it’s me she sleeps with.  I love the feeling of her laying in the crook of my knees.  Sometimes she will lick my feet, some sort of grooming thing?  Whatever.  No one else licks my feet and it feels warm and comfy somehow.

We’ve had two other dogs, and we had to put both of them down in their older years.  It was hard, but I quickly got on with it.  H still mourns and will tear up at pictures of them, not me.  I don’t know why?  I loved the dogs, but I don’t miss them as intently has H does.  I know, though, when it is time for Itsy, I am going to be devastated.  I don’t think I have ever felt such love, and that it comes from a little dog singling me out from among the family to make her favorite person.  Making me feel special in ways no one or nothing had before.

One thought on “Not My Dog

  1. Animals are so comforting especially when we seem to need it most. To have this little dog ‘adore’ you must feel wonderful. We have a dog and I know he ‘loves’ me but he is my husband’s dog. But we’ve had many dogs and cats and some have been ‘mine’ and I know how that feels….Diane

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