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Accepting Life’s Uncertainties Fido-Style

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My life was recently turned upside down. It's not over yet. I feel that the Universe is still shaking the package that holds (and sometimes conceals) my true nature, tempting me to break down, sending the contents of my character flying everywhere. What are the contents of this figurative box though? Is my true nature like glass and is it just a matter of time before it shatters, leaving pieces of my broken self all over the place for my loved ones to pick up? God I hope not.

Perhaps I am like a giant cookie crumb. Even when I am nowhere near pretty enough to be put on display with the other pretty cookies, I can still provide a moment of joy to someone or some creature. At least to my pets.

Dogs certainly don't toss cookie crumbs out if they come upon one. So if my personality is like a box of cookies, even when I am broken the dogs will get it, they will accept me–use me for a moment or two. Much like my brothers' pooches that have used me as a sleeping companion or unceremoniously plopped their furry selves on my head the last week I have been visiting.

I am not keen on sleeping with dogs. I love to sleep with my cat but I am not a dog person. I have a dog back home but I do not find satisfaction in cooing at or cuddling with him or his canine counterparts, and definitely not by allowing them to come and steal affection from me and lick me if I have not requested their presence. Some people think this makes me cold and heartless. I think it makes me a good pack leader. Seriously.

For example, my dog (a German Shepherd) is a big old baby. Once he whined like he lost his face after he bumped his nose into my calves while trying to force his way back into the house after I told him to stay outside. This was during his puppy training. If I give him more than a passing glance now, he settles down and bows in submissive mode. I am okay with that.

Nemo, Kind and Clumsy. My GSD.Nemo knows I do not approve of him inspecting my food. Even if it's raw meat and I am preparing it in his presence I can tell him to get out of the kitchen firmly, but without yelling (I don't want him to only listen when I raise my voice) and he immediately complies. He makes a beeline for the small wood frame that ends the tiled area of the kitchen and seats his monstrous self just on the other side of it, on the carpeted family area, waiting to see if I will invite him back into the kitchen.

After a few minutes he saunters over to his crate in the front room, leans his big face on his paw and keeps his floppy right ear as erect as it is capable of being. The floppiness of his ear belies his keen attention to goings on. He keeps an eye out for Madam, Ms Kitty or Shalimar Fox, the feline who is his elder and more agile of the two of them, as cats typically are.

Madam, my cat, high and mighty and very smug.Madam used to provoke Nemo in his crate when he was a puppy. The crate door was closed and covered with a sheet to help him stay calm at night and not howl but she would put her paws underneath the sheet and wake him. Despite her mischievous ways he came to love his crate as his den. But he keeps an eye or ear out for her since she has earned his suspicions fair and square. He typically does not chase her, even when she provokes him (although when he has, I know he thought he went to Dog Amusement Heaven). The lack of chasing is no credit to Ms Kitty. Rather, it is courtesy of Leerburg.com, a web site on teaching dogs acceptable behaviors, like ignoring the urge to chase cats.

So if it is not clear to you yet that I don't enjoy extended cuddling with my large dog, I am even less tolerant of the presumptuous nature of little dogs–shitzus, poodles, anything small as a cat but needy as a big dog or worse. Sure my cat can come lie with me; that's her job. But the dogs, they can remain a comfortable, respectful distance from me. Especially while I sleep.

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