"I am NOT having a filthy, flea ridden animal who licks himself and tracks mud into my house! The answer is NO! NO NO NO NO!"
And then I met Buddy.
I have never been a dog person. An outdoor enthusiast, most of my fellow rock climbers and campers find me an oddity. I just never saw the appeal in having a slobbery dog, usually not very smart, jumping on me and my furniture with muddy paws and nasty chew toys.
Until I met Buddy.
My husband's sister is an avid dog and cat rescue volunteer. She is always fostering animals, and I have to admit that her house often smells of sick animals or urine. I like cats, but mostly because they keep to themselves. I never had a dog growing up, and a deal breaker for me when dating was if he had a big dog. Big dogs really scared me. I was never bitten by one or attacked or anything, but I think that spending so much time outdoors just gave me an appreciation of nature that made it seem better to keep THEM outside and US inside. When camping and hiking, I respect nature and am full aware that I am intruding into their territory. I just don't invite them into my territory!
Alexis, my sister in law, is forever cajoling us to take home an animal (or three or five) "just for a few days" until they can find an adoption home. She is tireless in her efforts to help abandoned and rescued animals. From what she tells me, right now the shelters are being overwhelmed when the economy tanks, so anyone who can donate - all shelters and so on need help.
I digress. Back to Buddy.
We had to drop something off at Alexis and Lance's place so we swung by one evening. We knock on the front door to a cacophony of barking. I remember wondering how fast I could get out of there tonight. I just wasn't in the mood.
Alexis's voice we could hear coming from the backyard so we walked around and peered over the fence and saw the funniest site ever. This smallish black dog had somehow jumped on top of one of the outdoor dog houses while a wizening ball of light colored terror yapped at it from below. Alexis was shushing the little mop dog and cajoling the black dog to come down. My husband and I just stood there - now this was a site worth waiting on!
She saw us and waved us in, explaning that the small dog had given birth recently and the little black dog, a young black Lab, had come too close to mama-bear's cave and she was letting him have it.
The black dog didn't look fearful, but more like "oh heck no I'm not going down by that raging, yapping monster down there, she's crazy!"
Alexis had her brother coralle the mama bear dog (all 10 pounds of her) to where her new litter lay, waiting to be protected. The little black dog, sensing that psycho mama dog was gone and lesson learned, jumped down and bounded straight at me! His ears were flopping and he still hadn't mastered the run over his big paws and it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. This night was too much - that little black guy was a joyful creature and how could I say no? I had 2 sets of puppy dogs eyes begging me to bring him home, but it was mama-bear dog who was looking completely exhausted begging me to get that menace out of her yard that did it for me.
Buddy came home with us that night and I can truly and honestly say I am now a dog person.