This is our dog, Margaret. She is pretty good, as far as dogs go, but she’s still, you know, a dog. I tend to like cats a lot better since they are so undemanding. They are very self-sufficient and quiet. Perfect. Unfortunately they aren’t the most affectionate animals. Fine by me, but not so great when your children think it might be nice to actually touch their pet. And instead get an armful of scratches.
So after our last dog, Anna the Pug, got run over by the mailman (very sad story. Nothing breaks your heart like a grown man crying at your front door) we decided to take a break from the animal kingdom. That lasted for a year or two. I go through these weird phases every once in a while where I must have a pet. I love to do research and I spent months trying to find the perfect dog. Anna the Pug was great, though stupid. (People always say that having a stupid dog is a bad thing; like it’s your child or something. No. A stupid dog is good. There is no trying to escape from the yard/kennel/leash. No figuring out how to climb onto the kitchen counters. No plotting on how best to eat the babies food without her noticing.) Pugs also shed a lot. A LOT! If you wear tan clothes all the time maybe it’s not noticeable, but for us it was a deal-breaker.
So we got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Hardly any shedding. The entire point of this breed is that they like to be with people. A crazy, undying craving to be around people at all times. If you are wanting a furry shadow, this is the dog for you. This has some serious downsides, though. Like she’s afraid of the dark. She won’t go to the bathroom outside at night unless someone is close enough to rescue her from the boogeyman.
She is also quiet. When she needs to go to the bathroom, she sits nicely by the back door. Great if you are sitting in the kitchen, but not so helpful if you’re upstairs watching a movie. If you don’t let her out, she poops in her favorite indoor spot–on the stairs. The stairs! What the…?
She’s also embarrassingly subservient. The second she sees another dog she’s laying on her side. She might as well be wearing a sign that says “I’m pathetic. Please mistreat me.” I try to make her act tough and be more macho, but even a puppy is higher up in the pack than poor Margaret.
The fact is, she’s a lover not a fighter. She’s the perfect size–not big, not tiny–and doesn’t mind being dressed up in baby clothes and pushed around in the toy stroller. She’s pathetic, for sure, but she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s a dog!