I was never much of a dog person. I've never disliked them - and I certainly like them more than cats - but I never really wanted to own one.
We had a dog, a poodle mix named Bo, when I was in high school. Her mom was a registered poodle who got loose and freaky w/a known slut dog in the neighborhood, and they couldn't sell the puppies (mutts! the horror!) so they gave them away. We thought she was a he at first, and named her Beau, after Beau Duke. When she got a little older, and less fluffy, we realized she was a girl and renamed her Bo, after Derek. She was the light of my daddy's life, but I didn't pay much attention to her. My sister says I didn't like her, but that's completely untrue - I just didn't have time for her. She was dirty much of the time (b/c my parents were busy and my sister wouldn't bathe her) and she needed lots of attention. I never had much use for dirty things that required lots of attention.
Then I had a kid.
And my husband, who had many dogs as a child and loves them, wanted to get one, and I was like - "Are you crazy? I work full time, I have a baby, and now you want me to take on a dog? Um, no..."
Time passed, and Diva started asking for a dog, and I kept saying "When you're old enough to help take care of it..."
And then one day she was.
I was working part time at that point, and Diva and her Daddy were both insistent that Now Was The Time For a Dog, and I had no good excuses not to do it.
But we agreed it would be an outside dog - even Hubs didn't want a dog in the house, scratching up floors and furniture. And I knew I wouldn't have much to do with it, because outside dogs are dirty, and I don't pet dirty things I didn't birth myself, so it would be Diva and her Daddy's responsibility.
Then we got Harley.
We went to BARC, the City of Houston's animal shelter, which is a pretty nice place - cleaner, happier, better run than you expect a city pound to be. We looked at several puppies, especially itty bitty weeks-old ones that I thought I'd want, but Harley (he was named Tom at the time, but he was SO not a Tom) showed up, and we played with him a bit, and we said yeah, we'll take him.
And we got home, and he was cute and all, but I still thought he'd be an outside dog.
But it was summer time, and it was awfully hot outside, and he was so little:
So he stayed inside, in a big cage, till I got home and let him out. And it seemed like he'd never get potty trained, but strangely that didn't make me want to get rid of him, and eventually he learned to ring the bell to go outside.
I'd take him for walks, and when he was little, he'd get pooped way before I did, and he'd just STOP, all four little legs going splayed, not moving, and I'd have to pick him up and carry him home...
And then I convinced Hubs to install a doggie door because really, it's more convenient for everyone, and...what's that? The dirt? The mess? Oh, um, I guess I'll handle it....
So, somehow, eventually, he became an inside/outside/mostly inside dog. And then he was allowed on the furniture. And then on our bed.
And then we started thinking he needed a friend - for when he was stuck outside because, you know, he was outside so much...and Hubs insisted we go back to BARC, because he doesn't believe in breeders, he believes in adopting unwanted dogs. And I heartily agreed.
Until I found a Youtube video of a couple of corgi-lab mixes that a guy in the Woodlands was selling. But he wasn't a breeder - his dog had had babies with a friend's dog.
So I drove all the way out to the Woodlands and came home with Honda, who was awfully damn cute as a puppy:
Harley didn't know what to make of her at first, and even today, he sometimes looks at us like, "Really? You really had to bring that home?"
Because Honda's dominant, and she bugs the hell out of Harley. But he's mostly gotten used to her:
Wait, it gets worse.
So, like the woman who decides she loves motherhood more than she ever expected and suddenly wants to be a Baby Factory (thank God they had to erase my hard drive two days after I had Diva), I decided we needed a THIRD dog.
Diva and her Daddy said no.
Then we met Augie, a boxer who belongs to a good friend of ours. Our friend travels for work a lot, and was bemoaning the cost of kennels and how much Augie hates them, because she's kind of shy. We said, "Awww! Bring her over!" And he did.
And now every time he goes out of town, Augie stays with us, and she's cool with it:
Having dogs changes you, just like having kids does. The other morning I was the first one up, and Honda got all excited like she always does -- her normal setting is "frantically happy." I stepped in something warm and wet; sure enough, she'd peed out of extreme delight at something that happens every single day. ("I'm awake! Mommy's awake! Harley's awake! Yipyipyipyip!") I was not disturbed or grossed out or even mad. I just sighed and got some paper towels to wipe my feet. A couple years ago, if I'd stepped in dog pee? I'd have been furious.
It reminded me of one time in the grocery store with Diva when she was a toddler. She was sitting in the shopping cart, babbling happily, when I glanced down and saw that her lower face was COVERED in copious snot. There's no excuse for the mother of 2-year old to not have tissues or rags in her purse, but I didn't. So I used the hem of my t-shirt to wipe all the nasal mucous off her face before anyone saw it. And then I thought, "Wait. Did I just deliberately put snot on something I'm WEARING?" Yes. Yes I did.
A few times my sister has said, "Your house is so dirty! How can you stand it?" And I'm all, "Well, it's the price you pay for having dogs, you know? You just have to decide that's how it's gonna be." (And the house is not THAT dirty. It's just the floors. And I sweep a lot. Honest.) "And besides, it makes Hub so happy, how could I say no?"
And yeah, the dirt on the floors bugs me, and yeah, sometimes there's dirt in the beds, which I NEVER thought I could tolerate, but Hub and Diva are so obviously, deliriously happy to have the dogs around, and they make me happy, too (even Honda, who must be one of the world's most spectacularly stupid yet adorable dogs) that I can't imagine not having them in the house.
So that's how I became a dog person. And I'm glad I did.