Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rollercoaster

Some people who are actual parents of real, live human beings might take some offense to this, but...is it safe to say that having dogs is somewhat like having kids? Not that I would know, exactly, and I know there are some crucial differences. I don't need to buy the dogs diapers, for starters. And I won't ever need to help them with their math homework. Actually, I wouldn't even help human kids with math homework, because it would guarantee an F. My dogs would never put me in a nursing home. But, in some ways, it seems as though this is how it would feel to have children.

Like, when I came home on my break Friday night to see how Nabby and Rufus were doing. Each time I went to pet Nabby, Rufus would come over and want some attention too, so I gave them each an arm. But Nabby, she wants both arms. All for her, nothing for Rufus. She got up in a huff and walked away, and it broke my heart. "I ruined my dog's life," I thought. Suddenly I wanted to climb into bed and cry. Instead I had to finish my shift when it was the last thing I felt like doing. It was awful. She's never had to share, she's always had every last ounce of attention devoted solely to her. And now it will never be that way again, and for that, she hated me. When I come home now, I half expect to see her dressed in black, sitting in a corner reading Camus and smoking a cigarette and sneering, "You don't understand me."

I knew it would be an adjustment for everyone, but I had no idea it would make me so sad at times. Is this how my parents felt when I was always trying to kick my brother's ass? Because, wow. I never thought they enjoyed it, but did it stab them in the heart like that?

Corgis are smart, though, and Nabby seems to be catching on quickly that not only is Rufus not Satan and here to siphon the attention away from her, but that I can cuddle them both at the same time. Belly rubs for everyone! And better yet, I see them becoming friends. They ignored each other yesterday, but today, they are following each other around with intermittent periods of tussling.

That's more like it. You damn kids better learn to appreciate each other! Or else!