Since I’m going to be a fairly regular contributor to this blog, I have to come clean about something. I am a cat person. I was raised with cats, and my roommate for over 13 years was Stella, a cantankerous striped tabby who had definite ideas about sharing me with other people. I giggle over funny cat videos and make uncharacteristic squealing noises over Facebook pictures of cute kittens.
That said, I love dogs. Other people’s dogs. I don’t mean that sarcastically, either. My family never has owned a dog, but there have been many dogs in my life that I have cared for and who have had an impact on my life. My earliest dog friend was our next door neighbor’s Miniature Pinscher named Ralph. He was the perfect size dog for a three year old to interact with. Then there was my aunt’s German Shepherd, El Cid. He was so loving and protective. The wonderfully playful Labrador Retrievers Ask’em and Gretchen lived across the street with one of my best friends. And I’ve mourned my neph-dogs, a loving Golden Lab named Corey and a sweet Whippet named Fenris. And just this last year saw the passing of little Tiffany, the Silky Terrier, and gentle Penny, the mutt, the beloveds of my friends.
And now, my life is rich with Balder, Hermes, Mercury, Morgan, Ginger, and Karamela, among others. I don’t get to see my puppy pals as often as I would like, having moved far, far away, but when I do see them, I love to pet them and play with them. They are the “children” of my very dear friends, and so they are very dear to me.
Alas, I haven’t yet found a mammal with which to share my new home. We have fish, and I have become really fond of them, but it’s pretty hard to cuddle with them on the sofa or scratch them behind the ears. And while I like to flatter myself that they know and love me, I’m secretly suspicious that they are just responding to movement near the tank, regardless of who it is. But they are a living presence in the apartment that I don’t think I could do without. For most of my life I have had a pet of one type or another; it just feels right. But until I adjust to my new lifestyle as a city-dweller, I don’t want to make a commitment to a cat or a dog, so I guess the fish will have to do.
Anyway, that’s my story. I am a cat person who loves dogs. I love their playfulness and their loyalty, their friendliness and their intelligence. They give so much love and they are wonderful companions. They are the best “friends of friends” around.
~ Jayne Burt-Ozyildirim for Doggy Bag to Go