Those of us with addictive personalities know that we might achieve remission of one addiction only to find Compulsion popping up in another area. I'm no longer even slightly inclined toward alcohol, thank God. But there are so many places where addiction can pop up: eBay, food, and nearly impossible to resist, petfinder.com....
All my life I was a cat person. Cats suited me. They would cuddle and when it would be time for me to get up and do something else, they had several other attractive options to which they truly wished to attend. Dogs were nice but all that nonstop emotional exchange was distasteful to me. And then we got our first dog, a mini poodle. He and I bonded into One Being and eleven years later when he died I thought I would drown in my tears. It happened that the evening of the day of the dog's demise we attended a wake for an acquaintance and I was such a puff-eyed, swollen-faced mess that the bereaved were comforting me. Six dogless months passed and two mini poodles joined the perfect feline in our household. That was more than thirteen years ago. We've had a couple of real dogs, wonderful dogs, during the poodles' tenure, and each of them died too young.
I have always been the caretaker, the cleaner-upper, the one to cart the animals to the groomer and to the vet for everything from well-scheduled vaccinations to the odd, "...well, I don't know....she just doesn't seem .....right." I have been the Minister of Medicine, pilling them in any way it could be accomplished, squirting liquid stuff into ears and other orifices, gathering samples to be carried off in labeled containers for analysis. I have spent years of my life doing that stuff and I have lost yet more years of my life in worry over these animals.
Long ago we vowed never to get a dog from anywhere other than a shelter or a rescue organization. We have promised ourselves not to again add a third dog to this pack, and we are far past the stage where we want to deal with raising a puppy. I have sworn never to be another dog's sole parent. I have told Husband, "The next dog will be your dog. You will feed it, you will vet it, you will clean up after it, you will wait up until the appropriate late hour for Last Time Out."
Husband has always loved German shorthaired pointers. Last weekend some friends stopped by with their eight-week-old GSP baby girl. Within minutes of their arrival I had her in my arms, her muzzle cuddled in my neck, and then curled sound asleep on my lap. I played with her feet and her ears. I adored her puckery little lips and her soulful hazel eyes.
Here I am, awake in the middle of the night, browsing through petfinder and admiring beseeching please love me hound eyes. Hound? Could anything be further from a cat? (Well, yes, in fact. A mini poodle.) The only thing that's keeping my heart in my chest is that all of the GSPs I see are far away and their blurbs indicate that adoption out of the area is not an option.