I’m a dog person. I always have been. Other people’s cats are ok, sometimes (if I’m being honest, mostly not). I’ve had dogs my whole life. Some of them have been absolutely fantastic, and some of them have been total knuckleheads. The current two with which we share our space are somewhere in the middle of that continuum.
It’s safe to say that there is no universe in which I ever would have thought the sentence, “We don’t lick toilets in this family,” would have crossed my lips. But, of course, in this one that I’m in, I utter that exact combination of words at least once a week. That’s because our beloved Boston terrier, Beans, has a predilection for the taste of cool porcelain on his tongue – at least, that’s what I tell myself, to make myself feel better.
I never noticed this proclivity when Beans and I were living in a house where all of the toilet-users sat to go. But now that we are in a household with someone who’s a stander, the toilet has gained an undeniable magnetism.
Beans isn’t singular in his canine idiosyncrasies. Our Scruffy Mutt, Ripley, has a much more refined, yet varied, palate than Beans. Ripley is a Connoisseur de Garbage. We got Ripley about a year ago, as a rescue, so the details of his Life Before Us are sketchy, at best. It’s a fair bet that he spent some time on the streets, and may have had to procure more than one meal out of the trash.
His attraction to garbage, aside, Ripley is a pretty good dog in most other ways. As somewhat of a puppy still, he sometimes manages to find things mouth-pleasing that we would never guess. For example, the time he stole a full tube of Chapstick, and hid it, for later, clandestine consumption. Or, my favorite time, when he gingerly nibbled the rubber nose pads and the rubber bow wraps from Stacy’s glasses, leaving the glasses otherwise intact. In case you didn’t already know this, your local optical shop can replace those nosepads and bow wraps, negating the necessity of purcahsing a whole new pair of glasses, and leaving you much less likely to string your dog up by his toes.
But Ripley isn’t the only special dog we’ve had. Emma was Stacy’s dog long before he and I met. Emma was a yorkie-pom, or as I like to think of her, a porkie. Emma’s quirks were numerous, but she had a penchant for giving Special Love to her favorite stuffie, a leopard. Sometimes, Emma loved on Leopard so vigorously that she nearly concussed herself, banging her head on the floor.
Whether ab fab, total knucklehead, or somewhere between, dogs bring a certain joie de vivre to our lives. And if you’ve ever had a dog as near as special as any of the ones we’ve had, you have some good dog stories, too — I would love to read them.
Which pet of yours stands out in your mind as a favorite?
Did you ever own a pet that behaved out of the ordinary? What did they do that was odd?