My dog the "furry litmus test"

I read a variety of blogs, both for work and for fun. One of my fun ones is Crazy Aunt Purl, a 30-something divorced woman with four cats who knits and blogs about her life, or rather, getting on with her life post-divorce. And about her cats. I may not be divorced and I may not knit, but I can so relate to this woman. Sometimes I am convinced that there are cameras secretly taping my life so it can be turned into a sitcom, because some things just don’t happen to people in real life. Ms. Crazy Aunt Purl has some of the same type of surreal experiences like running into metal filing cabinets in front of her cute boss or moments of complete inappropriateness in a variety of venues. Now, if I could only find the person doing the taping and writing the script, I could get in on the royalties and retire early. Oh, and lets not forget the co-stars…most of my friends are convinced they’re being taped too, including my best friend from college. I’m pretty sure Ms. Purl might also be one of the co-stars. She, however, has written a book, which I intend to read when it’s released in October, and which, come to think of it, could be converted into a script.

Friday she talked about dating, and how her cats impact her dating life. She described her cats as a “furry litmus test,” both in terms of weeding out the guys that don’t like cats from the start (or think she’s a “crazy cat lady” for having 4 furry children) so she doesn’t waste her time and that her cats have to like the guy when (or if) she decides to bring him home to meet them. Once again, can I just say how much I can relate to this woman?

Now, I don’t have cats. My asthma specialist doctor threatened to come take them away from me if he found out I had cats (he’s a scary little man I never want to cross, but he keeps me healthy). Apparently cats are the only thing I reacted to in the allergy testing so they can aggravate my asthma. Dogs, fortunately, I had no reaction to. I can have as many dogs as I want. But, frankly, I can barely handle the one I have. Aussie is a handful, but in a good way. She keeps my life interesting. Right now, I am actually in charge of the house, although I do have to remind Aussie of this on a regular basis (weekly, at least). I know, however, that if I ever got another dog, it would become her partner in crime and I would definitely be so NOT in charge it would be very very scary.

My dog, however, serves the same purpose as Ms. Purl’s cats. Aussie is my “furry litmus test” for dating. One, anyone I date must love animals, and dogs specifically. If someone is freaked out about me having a dog, well, buh bye. Aussie is my “furry child” and has gotten me through a lot. What’s better, our love for each other is unconditional…she’ll always love me even when I’m sick and have snot running down my face. I even said to an ex once as he was breaking up with me: “this is why I have a dog. They don’t leave, and they certainly wouldn’t make up bullsh*t excuses if they did leave.” We did eventually recover from his “head up his butt” moment and became friends, because ultimately, he’s a good guy.

Which, actually, Aussie knew. She liked him from the start. He even showed up with a rawhide treat for her once, and she was more interested in licking his face and playing than the treat. She’s an excellent judge of character. So, part two of the litmus test is: if my dog doesn’t like you, I figure there’s a good reason and, well, buh bye. I’ve tried being friends with and/or dating people that she didn’t like, and I’ve learned that I need to trust her ’cause they all ended badly. She never did like my most recent ex, generally ignoring whatever commands were given to her and always looking to me for confirmation. She tolerated my ex’s presence, but that’s about it. And, as I discussed in a previous post, I’m still dealing with the aftermath of that “train wreck disguised as a relationship” (it messed me up but good). I should have trusted my dog, I know this, but I was foolish. Never again. Never again will I not respect my dog’s opinion of someone.

One particular example of someone she definitely did NOT like is a guy I dated in grad school. It was a long distance thing. Long distance is never my idea of a good time, but I figured I’d give it a shot ’cause he seemed to be a good egg. Well, Aussie was not fond of him, as I learned on his first visit. She spent the entire visit trying to make sure she was always between us. Whether we were sitting on the couch or standing up, she’d force her way between us, and bark incessantly when he hugged me. [Me, internally: “Hm. I think she’s trying to tell me something.”] She made her dislike even more painfully (to him) clear by literally knocking him on his a**. We were at the beach, and she was running around chasing the waves. Abruptly, she stopped, turned, focused on him, and CHARGED. Full steam ahead. Getting hit by my dog who’s a solid bundle of very strong muscle is like getting hit by a freight train. I know, we’ve collided running around playing in the yard before and I’ve had bruises, big black bruises. But running into me was never intentional, always accidental, and she always apologized by attacking my face with her tongue and rolling over all submissive-like. With this guy, it was personal and very much intentional. She CHARGED him. He, trying to think quick, jumped to avoid her. Foolish foolish boy. She leaped (she can clear a 3 ft. fence with room despite her short legs) and clipped him at the knees, sending him tumbling head over heels into the sand. He did not land softly. Aussie landed, turned, barked at him, and trotted over to me, head high and tail wagging, quite obviously proud of herself. The message was clear: “Mom, DITCH this guy!!” She was right. So I did, and life got much better.

I think everyone should have a “furry litmus test” for dating and even for friendships. Cat, dog, gerbil, bunny rabbit (hi, sis!), whatever. Just get you something to help you weed out the bad eggs in this world. So consider yourself warned…you must pass the dog “furry litmus test.” And, no, Aussie does not accept bribes. She’s too loyal to me and me only.

I love my dog. Aussie rocks.

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About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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