By Jeanne Adams
Are you a Dog Person or a Cat Person?
If you've ever owned a dog - or been owned by one - even if you don't have one now, you know you're ONE OF THEM.
The Dog People.
The people who carry a spare leash in the car in case they come across the neighbor's dog, loose and running toward the street. You're the one who's been known to have three or four manky, disgusting tennis balls rolling around in your van or car, as well as having spare "dog towels" in the trunk. You're the one who bought special protective covers for your car seats, or even better, a ramp so your older dog could still go for rides with you. Your car windows have that special doggy imprint...you may even have one of those bumper stickers that says I HEART My Bouvier de Flanders. (Yes, that is a dog) Or one that says, My Mutt Can Beat Up Your Purebred.
You laughed uproariously at the Pedigree Super Bowl Commercial featuring the odd pets-that-were-not-dogs.
You laugh at Frazier's dog, Eddie.
You buy your dog presents for the holidays.
Yep. Dog Person. (You Cat People are a whoooollllleeee different kettle of fish, so to speak. I'm gonna talk about your proclivities on the 19th....)
Dogs are wonderful creatures, really. Loyal. Protective. Funny. Sympathetic. Pick an adjective.
Introduce two true Dog People and they'll be happy for hours telling dog stories. It's even worse if they share a breed-specific scenario - i.e. put two Yorkie owners together and the "ooh, my Chester just..." stories go on, and on, and on. Dogs are great conversation starters. A single-guy friend of mine calls his dog, Hefty, a chick-magnet.
(While this picture isn't Hefty, it looks like him. So, you can see, Hefty is just that, and has been from puppyhood.)
Hefty turns heads wherever he goes, that's for sure.
As a reader, I love it when there's a dog in the book. I so enjoyed hearing about Pirate, the talking Jack Russell in Angie Fox's Accidental Demon Slayer. I also loved hearing about the motorcycle clubs for dogs and their owners.
Our own Donna MacMeans is featured in an anthology called Tails of Love (June , 2009), with her story Lord Hairy. (The proceeds go to a no-kill animal shelter)
In Nora Robert's Dancing on Air, the hero's dog Lucy, the black lab, stole my heart, as did Moe, the mutt in Robert's Key trilogy.
As I've gotten email about my first book, Dark and Dangerous, one of the most-mentioned characters is Shadow, the German Shepherd.
I love talking about my own dogs. (No, you wouldn't have guessed, right?) I LOL about Facebook now having a Dogbook section so your dog can Friend other people's dogs. Isn't it amazing how much time we devote to playing, walking, grooming, checking, washing, vetting and finding a place for Rover to stay when we go to the beach? (The horrible rental people at the beach don't allow dogs, you know. Terrible thing. Sigh.) Even then, we call home to be sure they're okay. For instance, my friend called me from Greece, just to check on her Golden Retriever.
From Greece. Seriously.
Some people go so far as to have their dogs as best man or woman. My hubby and I didn't do that, but it did cross my mind. And even though we didn't have the dogs in the wedding, we DID have a picture taken with them. What do you think of it? :> Its one of my favorite photos ever.
Like I said, Dog People are....crazy.
They develop clubs and games and sports for their dogs. I'm not just talking confirmation showing, or obedience trials, or field trials or agility. All that's fun, but it's kind of like what many of the breeds do when they're working, or herding, or sporting. No, these clubs are for things that have nothing to do with actual "working" dogs, like retrievers or gun dogs.
Picture a scene with me. Summer on the lake, two guys sitting at sunset drinking a beer, their very wet, happy and tired dogs by their sides. I imagine it went like this:
"You know, I don't like guns or hunting, but my dog sure likes the water." Takes a swig. "Like today. Couldn't keep him out'a the water."
"Yeah, mine too." Amiable silence. Frogs croak. "You know, Stud jumps off that dock until he's exhausted."
"Yeah, Fluffy does too. Hey how far do you think your dog jumps?"
"Really far. Farther than your dog."
"Like H*ll. We should measure it and see."
Enthusiastically, "Yeah, yeah, and Fluffy can beat Stud in Dock Diving."
And Dock Diving was born...
And Fly Ball.
And the Terrier Races.
And we won't even get into the any costume and sweaters contests, and not just at Halloween.
I've shown Dalmatians for years. I've had several champions and one Best in Show Winner. Now, with my new dog Diver, the Irish Water Spaniel, I'm going to try obedience, agility, and perhaps, Dock Diving. :>
All in my spare time, that is...hahahahahahaha.
So, the question for the day is, Cat or Dog or Both? (Louisa, I already know your answer!)
What's your favorite romance with a dog in it?
What's your favorite "dog book" from childhood?
Hey, Dog People! You'll want to tune in tonight (Monday) and tomorrow night (Tuesday) if you live in the USA, for the world famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog show. It's on the USA Network. Four groups tonight, three groups and Best In Show tomorrow night. I'll be watching to see if any of my dog-show-pals win their Breed and go to group.