Because dogs are gross. As many of you know, after being a cat person for most of my life (with the exception of briefly living with my former roommate's rambunctious beagle-hound mix that I never liked), I became a dog-mom to a Pom in December of last year. My Miss Kitty is still the love of my life and gets lots of attention, though you wouldn't know it by looking at my Flickr photos (more than 100 photos of Lulu the Pom and only 16 photos of the cat). But I LOVE this dog. I mean, I really love her. I never thought I could love an animal this much. And here's proof:
I have never changed my nieces' or nephew's diaper because I have a strong gag reflex, but I have cut more dingleberries out of my dog's butt fur than I can count. I pick up poop with a bag over my hand. I let her lick my face, fully aware of where that mouth has been. And more than once I've had to do a bathtub butt-wash on an angry puppy who clearly ate something that didn't agree with her (because sometimes the poop scissors just won't cut it, no pun intended).
The first time Lou threw up, I completely freaked out when she snapped at me when I tried to clean it up because SHE WANTED TO EAT IT. I have since learned how to play keep-away with the dog vomit, dog in one hand and paper towels in the other.
My adorable, sweet-faced puppy took a chunk out of my arm when I tried to move her off of my mother's living room rug while she had a t-bone in her mouth. She made me bleed and I blamed myself, not the dog.
She won't eat dog poop, but her affection for cat sh*t is much like a gourmand's for rare and expensive truffles. We have many outdoor cats in my neighborhood and when Lou takes a dive under a bush while we're on a walk, I know exactly what she's after. Most of the time, I am able to pull her away, but I have had to use a poop bag on my hand to extract cat sh*t from her mouth. Also, if I am not on litter box patrol 15 times a day, I am likely to find Lou somewhere in the house by the trail of clumping cat litter. And since Miss Kitty is purebred Himalayan (i.e. not that bright and very change-resistant), she refuses to use a covered cat box. I also have to keep an eye/ear out for Kitty hacking up a hairball, because Lou likes to eat those too.
Speaking of where Lou's mouth has been, we love to walk in Hampton Park, but I have to be hypervigilant because Lou also adores duck poop. I think if I had a steak in one hand and duck poop in the other (ew), she'd pick the hand with duck poop.
She licks my ankles when I get out of the shower or when I put lotion on. And I let her. I don't know why, because it grosses me out to be clean and then immediately covered in dog spit, but she likes doing it so much I feel bad about telling her no.
I do not want to admit how many times I've played "what's that smell?"
I've taken Lou shopping at SuperPetz and Petsmart and let her pick out her own toys, even if it's a toy like her fleece-covered squeaky man that she loves, but I know he's going to be covered in spit and will no longer be white within five minutes of returning home. And she'll want me to touch the spitty thing and play with her.
I think it's adorable when she farts while sleeping and wakes herself up, even if it smells really bad. I still laugh.
Cats are easy. When I brought Miss Kitty home, she weighed about one pound and was so teeny I initially followed her all over the house. I also thought I'd have to train her to use a cat box. Within 24 hours I realized she already knew how to do everything herself, that one does not train a cat, and that she was the boss of me anyway.
Dogs are a completely different story. Lulu was 8 weeks old when I brought her home and was the neediest creature I've ever met. I spent all of December and a good part of January cleaning up after her, as she peed joyously wherever she stood. I got up three times a night to take her outside in 30 and 40-degree weather. "Crate training" lasted for two days and she has been sleeping on a pillow next to my head at night ever since. There was even a two-week period during which I cried at least once a day because I thought I chose a mentally-challenged dog that would never stop biting me, eating anything she found on the sidewalk, and peeing everywhere except on her puppy pads.
Then the training kicked in and she no longer bites me (except for the t-bone incident), she only potties outside or on her puppy pads, and she's just big enough now so I no longer have to pick her up and put her on my bed when it's time to go night-night. I beam with pride when people tell me she doesn't act like a "yippy little Pomeranian." I say thank you when they tell me how adorable she is, as if I am somehow responsible for her cuteness. I can have the worst day and come home to a wildly spinning little furball who is overjoyed to see me, even if I've only been gone for an hour.
So yes, dogs can be gross. But they're worth it. And now I completely understand all my friends over the years who let their dogs slobber all over them. I get it, and I hope I wasn't too judgmental about it. I feel bad about the times I've visited friends and they've had to patrol their dogs so they wouldn't jump all over me (as I stood frozen with my arms in the air in a "no touchy" position). I welcome it now, really. Jump and slobber away.
Also, if any of my sisters or nieces want to have more babies, I promise to give diaper-changing a shot.