Sometimes You Just Need a Dog..

Okay, well. It looks as if at least some of the renovation follies are drawing to a close. There is a light at the end of the tunnel (not an oncoming train this time, one can hope) in that the roof is almost finished and the AC units are going to be turned back on. Thank goodness it was decided to do this work now, since we are having our usual May Gray/ June Gloom situation (for those of you not from SoCal, these months are almost invariably overcast and foggy. If you want the sunny SoCal vacation, book after July 4th) and we have barely had a day over 75 degrees. Play, the Dish people can come and re-align things so TV will be back up. The back third of the building will be repaired from the rain (if not the hole in the roof, yet) so that all will be done. The repairs to the pool deck are being put off because it is felt that we all just can’t take one more freaking thing.

One of the things I found that I miss with some of my neighbors away are their dogs. Now, I do like my neighbors cats and am willing (and do) feed them when my neighbors are out of town. Cats will even greet you, but I am allergic to them, so that while I do like petting and playing with them doing a full Joan Crawford scrub-up after makes it a pleasure that I don’t often indulge in. I am not nearly allergic to dogs however. Dogs are just so gosh-darned happy to see you. My neighbors have ones ranging in size to minuscule to largish and they’re funny beasts. I usually see them when they’re out walking, but sometimes when a neighbor asks me to let in a workman while they aren’t home. Not that nay of the dogs are vicious or territorial, it’s just best for hem to have a familiar face. One of the smallest is a mix of some terrier who pretty much rules the first floor. Everybody in the building loves him and his custody is shared by exes who have moved out from each other but still live in the building. Any open doorway on the first floor is an invitation to him and he is never unwelcome- one can usually see him in the front window of his apartment as your walking up to the front door, wagging his tail. Sadly he is on a diet, so we are not allowed to give him treats. Not that that stops him from asking.

Upstairs we have three different ones, all of who are friends. One is in the corner unit and is some sort of mix that will greet you with ferocious barks and growls when you knock or walk by but is whirling with delight at seeing you upon entry. He has a came I call “almost fetch” where he will grab his towy, present it to you, but if you make a move for it run away with it, tail held high as if to say “fooled you again, puny human!” Another is a pug who basically wants to be held, petted and snorfle at you. I have to go with the plumber or electrician not because she will attack, but she will interfere. Pipes can be bursting or fixtures acting like props from “Bride of Frankenstein” but little Pugsly must have dewlaps dandled, and is willing to enforce the rule. Across is the biggest dog in the building who is also the mellowest, perhaps because he knows he could chew up and swallow a Buick if necessary. His greeting is usually to come and stick his head between your legs, which I suppose can be disconcerting to the uninitiated. I feel safer having him around, even though I know he’d be more likely to give a burglar a free pass for the flat-screen if it meant he didn’t have to get off the sofa.

Of course I have friends who have dogs as well and I have come to believe that most people have Karma backwards: I want to come back in my next life as a well-loved dog. One of my friends is a local politico and her dog is one of the most pampered and well-loved dog I know. Of course it helps that he is a giant shaggy love muffin who seems to adore everyone and subsequently everyone adores him. I’m not sure I’d really trust someone that animals didn’t like.

The nice thing about being in this position is the you sort of get a rent-a-dog situation: I don’t have to walk them or pick up after them, but I do get the adoring greetings and assurance that no matter what my presence is desired. Some days you can’t get better than that, can you.

Any pet stories? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Beverly Hills Courier

  • Meg says:

    My dog is somewhat beloved in my apartment community, and probably the main reason anyone talks to me. 🙂 I moved to my current (fairly small) town a little under two years ago, and I’ve recently started having random people yell, “Where is your dog? Is he okay?” if I head outside without him for a quick walk, to drop trash off, etc. He’s just a mid-sized terrier mix, but he smiles at everyone in the cheeriest way, and I guess they’ve gotten used to seeing him!

  • Kate E. says:

    I love dogs, but unfortunately we don’t have any. When my daughter was nearing the “first word” milestone we eagerly waited for “mama” or “dada” but what we got instead was the name of our neighbor’s friendly black lab!

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I have 2 very strange Labs living with me and they think that they own the house. They also think that I was put on this earth to spoil them rotten, the Bark Boxes seem to be proof of that. I just got through a medical emergency with one that set me back $1,500. That’s the drawback of animal ownership, they are expensive.

  • Doc Sinister says:

    Two pups and the husband refuses to let me get any more. Not even an “emergency backup sized” one!

  • Maggiecat says:

    I use baby talk for both my dog and cat, and have for all of my dogs and cats. I am a college professor. Of communication.

  • Pats says:

    Love your word *snorfle* hahah. Yea i’m like you – if a dog does not like someone then i am suspicious of them as a person! I speak to all the dogs i meet on my daily walk and give them a little scratch round the ears and a wee bit of chat (in my baby voice). Does everyone else use a babyish voice when they talk to dogs/cats……….. or is that just me! errr…. I’ll get my coat! 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    How nice that you get to enjoy all the resident dogs, without the responsibilities. I do that with the resident cats in my building. 🙂 I do have 2 small dogs of my own and although there is effort required to take care of them, they make me happy every day. Seeing a wagging tail and getting excited kisses when I walk in the door is precious. And they never have a mean or nasty word to say. 🙂

    My female is an inveterate squirrel-chaser, the male is a lazy couch potato, and they both have very distinct personalities. She dislikes other dogs but loves people, he is friendly but shy of both dogs and people. I can’t imagine not having a cat or dog in my life, they bring a warm presence to my home.