Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why I like doggers

The Crew
Left to right Fiona, Timbah and Zoey.
(Too tired to paint today. I taught very
early, and my son is home from
university. A lot going on. If I find the
drawing I did of Zoey the other day
I'll post it. )

For the past week I've been trying to do my 10,000 steps
every day. I am not really up to it. My ankle hurts,
but the dog is so happy that I'm walking with her, that
she'll accept any conditions, tail wagging, sticking close
by my side and not pulling. She knows instinctively that
our walks are a really big deal for me. When we encounter
ice after the day's thaw has turned into a glassy sheet at
night, she stops cold to warn me -- uh uh, don't go there.

Before we got Zoey 10 years ago I was 100% a cat person.
I had two dogs growing up. Rags, who I loved dearly,
who went out one night when I was about 10 and never
returned (in those days dogs walked themselves in the
small town where I lived). Okay actually three dogs,
but Joey died of distemper at about 12 weeks and
devastated my family. Then we got Joey's sister,
Christine Sunday, (her owners' last name) who became
Chrissy, and lived a happy life to a ripe old age. There
is a family myth that if there's a heaven, she's there with
my father.

So getting Zoey dog ten years ago was a complete and
total shock to the system. My sister, the therapist, says
that to be whole you have to be able to love both dogs and cats.
Now that I have both, I know what she means. Each
animal teaches you something different. Both cats are
cuddlers, and Zoey is wildly affectionate and playful,
but serious too. Plus they all like each other, which
is great fun for us.

Back to why I like doggers, or dog people. I was walking
Zoey the other day, swinging an Ikea poo bag, of fresh
do do, blithely unaware that I even had the bag in
my hand because I was noticing the birds, and Zoey and
the light, and I was waiting until I could deposit her
material in the appropriate public bin. We ran into another
dogger with her big, gruff standard poodle, and stood
having a nice chat. Neither of us knew the other, but
we were instant "friends" because of the dogs. Of course
not all dog people are like that. Some are chilly or
indifferent and there are the dog snobs who won't talk to you
unless you're walking a pure bred dog (Zoey is not -- she's a
Border Collie, Dalmation, Lab cross).
But for the most part doggers are friendly, and let's face it
you have to have a good attitude to life to happily stand
talking to someone who is carrying a bag of dog excrement.

Have a loving-dogs-cats-and-other-animals day.


Elizabeth Seaver said...

Wonderful post, Barbara!

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

Even though I complain, I'm really glad we got the dogs.

Great post.


Gwen Bell said...

So nice to meet the rest of the family! I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity animal lover. They are all so unique and have so much to teach us about loving and accepting life. Right now, life has given me 3 cats...nearly more than I can handle, but I look forward to the time when a puppy will grace these walls (and yard). Zoe is so pretty and what a great mix of intelligent, loving breeds! Hope you will have this wonderful crew to love for many years to come.

Liza Hirst said...

What a great photo! And a lovely post! When I grew up we didn't have dogs and hardly any cats (only for a few weeks, because "Cromwell" was far too wild for our apartment). But we had the same floor as yours in our hallway! And, for nearly 15 years already, we have enjoyed our wonderful labrador "Louis", who is getting REALLY OLD now.
Have a lovely time with your son, Barbara!

Melinda said...

Yes! You are so right about loving both cats and dogs! I used to be a cat person only, too. But then, a magical dog came into my life and became my helper dog after a traumatic brain injury. They DO love to work and you've given your dear Zoey a good job--keeping you safe on the walk.

I think cats take care of us as well. They're just more subtle. :)

Love the photo of the group!

They must be very, very happy babes living in such a nice household. Enjoy your boy home from university!! Mine's home in a week. Yay.

Lisa Daria said...

I learned to really appreciate a nice, ahem, fresh bag of dog pooh the first winter I got Brie, the dog. Fresh bag of pooh doubles as a hand warmer in our cold New England winters!!! It made pooh much more anticipated when I figured it out - !

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks so much. Glad you liked it.

Take care,


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Josephine,

I know you're glad we got the dogs. No one is saying that they aren't a lot of work. But they are the best sister dogs I've ever known.

Love Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks so much. Yes three cats would be a lot. In fact three animals is a lot. I have a friend, a single mom, who has three cats and two dogs, and that is a lot of work. Wonderful animals, still...With cats it's emptying the pan that gets you down isn't it. Otherwise they are not much trouble.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

That is so bizarre, I feel like we must have been in the same family sometimes when I read your posts. I had that same floor in the hallway when I was a teenager, and I loved it, so that's why I put it in our kitchen. But it was also as a sop to Vermeer, because I couldn't afford marble, and marble wouldn't be right in this tiny house. But I love the black and white design, and when we replace the floor we'll use better quality linoleum.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

My boy was only home for a couple of days. It seems so short. Great sketch on your blog of your sweet lad.

My dog is a helper dog too. That must have been so comforting having an understanding dog when you were recovering from your brain injury.

When I was very sick in 2001, my cat, Simone, sadly now dead, never
left my side. I was deathly ill and she knew it, and definitely took
care of me.

This crew does seem pretty happy,
and they are wonderful.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Lisa,

I can honestly say I've never regarded the poo that way even in our cold Toronto winters, which can be bitter indeed. I guess it's because my mother was a bacteriologist, and because I've had a very bad bacterial
infection. I try my best not to get anywhere near the poo, and although I'm not worried when it's in the bag, I can't dispose of it quickly enough.
You made me laugh with your story.
Well now...Funny!

Take care,


Portrait Artist

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