Thursday, January 1, 2009

Call Me Casanova

Went to a lovely New Year's Eve party, fell in love with a dog.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (how romantic a name is that?), white with orange spots, tiny and refined like a porcelain figurine. Long, silky hair, long, silky ears, soulful eyes, blunt nose.

She trotted around the room bestowing favors on random guests until I snatched her up and took her aside and kissed the top of her head. She smelled like vanilla. I sat with her ears draped over my arm and rocked her (she's the perfect infant weight—eleven pounds) until her eyes started to close. If she had been a cat, she would have been purring. And the whole time I was thinking, wouldn't life be wonderful with a little dog like this?

Got home in time for midnight hugs with our descendants, and they all asked about the party. And I did tell them, eventually. But first I pointed to the long white hairs on my black outfit and went into raptures about the little dog. My daughters and their beloveds rolled their eyes and shook their heads: there she goes again....

Have I ever seen a dog I didn't want to clasp to my bosom and take home? Hardly ever—maybe one of those absurdly clipped poodles, or an overly slobbery mastiff. But usually I find dogs irresistible. I'm not one of those sane individuals who are content to enjoy other people's dogs for an evening and then walk away. Me, if I see a dog I like, I want to kidnap it and live with it forever.

If I'm walking down the street, I see dogs, the way tree lovers see trees and fashion lovers see store windows. The way some men see women—the kind of men who cannot help following with their eyes every woman who walks by, who fantasize what it would be like to be with this tall one, or that fat one, or the one with curly hair.

Ask one of these guys if he loves his wife and he'll tell you, absolutely yes, he adores her, but...Ask me if I love Lexi and Wolfie and I will answer that I love them with all my heart, but...Show me an Irish Setter running like a flame across a field, or a Border Collie rounding up sheep, or even a clever-looking Chihuahua, and I will lust in my heart after all of them.

Show me a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and I'll be at her window in the wee hours, with a long ladder and a fast horse.



10 comments :

  1. I, too, fell in love with Mimi. She is irresistible. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that it is likely better we have a series of one-night stands.

    Great to see you last night, and missed you at the fireman's breakfast this morning (but happy to see your husband and daughters and son-in-law ever so briefly!).

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  2. You had me at "smelled like vanilla." I would take any (nice) dog that didn't smell bad (and had somebody else in charge of keeping her smelling nice). No labs in my house.

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  3. On my Christmas journey, I was struck by how much more pleasant the drive would have been had a dog been sitting next to me. Every so often I remember how my dogs paws smelled when they slept, a lovely scent like wheat, and how very much I miss them.

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  4. Dogs and Weather
    by Winifred Welles

    I'd like a different dog
    For every kind of weather--
    A narrow greyhound for a fog
    A wolfhound strange and white,
    With a tail like a silver feather
    To run with in the night,
    When snow is still, and winter stars are bright.

    In the fall I'd like to see
    In answer to my whistle,
    A golden spaniel look at me.
    But best of all for rain
    A terrier, hairy as a thistle,
    to trot with fine disdain
    Beside me down the soaked, sweet-smelling lane.

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  5. So maybe it's you, Indigo, who is the true Casanova.

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  6. Bridgett, I agree that dogs should smell nice. Most dogs develop bad breath with age, but brushing their teeth daily (which I've just started doing with mine) makes a huge difference. Sometimes, though, as I stand there rubbing their gums, I wonder what someone from, say, Africa would think if she could see me.

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  7. Craig, you so need/deserve a dog! Any chance you could have one? Maybe a small breed? Little dogs are just like big ones, only easier to deal with. If you were in Vermont, I'd offer to help out...

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  8. Laurie, thank you for that beautiful poem! I especially like "a terrier, hairy as a thistle." And don't terriers have thistle-ish personalities, too?

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  9. I will get a dog again, someday. I'm just not sure I'm ready to have one now. I'm just experiencing what it's like to have no obligations, and that's an important step for me. We'll see how it goes.

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  10. Craig, that certainly sounds wise. God knows dogs, for all their charms, do tie one down!

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