Monday, May 12, 2008

Love Me, Love My Pet

Reigning Cats and Dogs

Remember back in the late 1800s when we were all growing up? Most households had two parents (What a concept!), a stay-at-home Mom, one car, two and a half kids, a house with a picket fence – never heard of a condo and did not know anybody who lived in an apartment – although some families of limited means rented houses or portions thereof. Most every house had a dog as a family pet. They had names like Pinkie, Poochie, Pippi, Peppy. Or for those of us who weren’t into alliteration, and less were creative, they might be named Blackie, Brownie, Spot, Lassie, or Laddie.

Even our first Readers had a dog named Spot who belonged to Dick and Jane. See Spot run. Run Spot, run. Dogs seemed to follow boys on their adventures more than girls. Girls played with dogs in the house but did not take them to cheerleader or majorette practice. Norman Rockwell painted scenes of “Americana” that included boys and dogs. T.V. shows included dogs who could literally understand their young boy master. “Run home Lassie. Tell Mom I fell in the well.” And the dog did! Oh, not to burst your bubble, but I once did research on Lassie and discovered that “she” was actually a “he.” And that was before we knew the term transgender.

I had a dog while growing up. Actually Pinky did not live with me because my mother would not allow it, so he lived with my grandparents but I considered him my dog. He was a “city dog,” which means he ran in, around, and through traffic and was never run over. He did love to chase cars, though, nipping at their tires. I could never understand what he planned to do if he ever caught one.

All our dogs were mutts. We as a society had not yet been sold the bill of goods about breeding and traits of specific breeds. The dog in the T.V. series “Little Rascals” was mostly a pit bull terrier but never was vicious or bit anybody.

After I married I had a series of dogs – a beagle mix, a poodle/sheepdog mix (I’m sure it was an interesting courtship), a mixed terrier finally a purebred poodle, then the only one that was ever purchased – a something-poo that was supposedly a new mixed breed. But Lacy, although she cost $ 1,000, was certifiably insane and we had to give her away.

During my entire life I had never owned a cat, if a cat can indeed be “owned.” One cold winter morning about 5 years ago while putting up holiday lights we heard a faint “meow” and saw a pure black cat shivering behind a bush. We took it in “until we could find its owner,” and still have it. Cats don’t fetch, don’t come when called, don’t chase cars, don’t do tricks, and if you fall in the well, will not go home to fetch Mom. There is an adage, only too true, “A dog has a master. A cat has a staff.” How true.

A little blogging music Maestro... Today, please play two, Elvis Presley doing “Hound Dog,” and “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart.

Dr. Forgot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It takes years to get your children to the independent stage of their lives. It takes but a few months for the independence in a cat to develop and this never happens in a dog. Depends on what you want. Total devotion can be demonstrated in many ways. Cats too are loyal, just very aloof. Meow.