Monday, January 5, 2015

Must Love Dogs

Most of us love dogs and I am no exception. But I haven’t owned a dog in quite some time and I'm not always sure how to behave around them.

And frankly, whenever I encounter someone else's dog these days, I'm not even sure I want to be around them!

Take the case of Sophie, the poodle owned by my friend Ellen. Whenever I go to visit Ellen, Sophie barks, jumps up and down frenetically, and wraps her paws around my legs like she's begging me not to foreclose on her mortgage.

There’s just one problem.

When I first walk through the door of Ellen's house, I'm nowhere near ready for this level of affection. And I'm certainly nowhere near ready for the slobbery sticky face licking of the sort Sophie dispenses, not even if Sophie were somehow magically transformed into Scarlett Johansson.

"Hello, Sophie, how are you?"  I say stiffly.  "Ever so nice to see you."

That's the best I can muster this early on in my interaction with a pooch - anybody’s pooch - man’s or woman’s best friend or not. Sophie meanwhile is jumping ever higher and more excitedly on her hind legs, the better to unleash a full frontal doggy smooching assault on my face and body.

"No, no, Sophie, please I've just washed my face,” I plead.  “And hands too!  And this is a new cashmere sweater!”

Meanwhile Sophie's owner, flush with affection for her four-legged pride and joy, is intent on imbuing that very same affection into my canine curmudgeonly psyche.

"Sophie-kins, give some lovey-wovey to Perry.  Isn't she a good girl, isn't she a good girl?  You make kissy face with Perry!"

Oh, that unique quality in all of humanity to think every one of us must love their pets almost as much as they do! Were that trait not to exist, there would be three cat videos on Facebook and the rest political diatribes and people changing their profile picture.

But then as I settle into visiting my friend, a curious thing happens.  As I'm having coffee with Ellen, a more calmed down Sophie nuzzles against my leg.

No humping. No licking. Just snuggling.

"That's a good girl, Sophie," I said, rubbing her head softly. "Yes, you are a nice puppy, you are."

One hour goes by.

"Yes, you are a pretty girl, aren't you, Sophie! Aren't you, Sophie?" I coo in a voice I haven't used since I was five. "Yes, you are the sweetest little Sophie-kins in all the world!”

Oh, that unique quality in all of humanity to, after a short while, come to love someone else's pets almost as much as they do.

No wonder there are so many cat videos on Facebook.



janet said...

You need a friend with a well-trained dog, Perry. :-)


Perry Block said...

Sophie actually does exist and this story is more or less true, imagine that. I think she's pretty well trained, but just affectionate. One could certainly question who she picks as the object of her affection, however! Thanks, Janet, and happy new year.

Russell said...

Like they say, Perry. Lock your wife and dog in the trunk of a car for an hour and see which one is most happy to see you when you open the trunk.

By the way, you type very sweet baby talk. I'm surprised there aren't more than pets lined up to hump your leg.

Perry Block said...

You're right, Russell. But somehow my leg has not been humped by anyone with less than three legs in quite some time. There was that dog with three legs one time and then there was that alien chick, and that's about it.