During the holidays, it seems quite a few folks were recipients of new pets as gifts. There were plenty of dogs, a few cats, some fish, a ferret or two and even some hamsters. Dozer was not impressed.
Dozer is my soon-to-be two year old Dachshund. He's also the undisputed master of the News office, and he defends his territory with a passion.
Until I got Dozer, I had completely forgotten what it was like to have a pet as a constant companion. The last time I had an animal around for any length of time, it was when I got Pearl, a chocolate lab, for Dewey and had to keep her in my apartment in Austin for a couple of weeks till I could make it home to deliver her. As I remember, she ate my coffee table, a chair, a comforter and every table scrap I had. But, years later, she never forgot her time with me and always greeted me as her "other" master.
That's the thing about pets. They become attached to us, and we to them, and the relationship benefits all concerned. Dozer will sulk when I leave him at the office, then jump about with joy when I return. The separation may have only been for an hour; but, he celebrates as if I had left him for a month. Our friends and family don't give us nearly that kind of reception when we walk into a room.
He will sit near my chair and is ready to go each and every time I stand to move about. It may only be to the coffee pot at the back of the office; but, Dozer stays close at my side letting me know that he is ready to take on any challenge with me, if I will only allow him.
And he is a lap dog.
He will walk up to my chair and stare up at me with sad brown eyes, whimpering, until I allow him to jump up into my lap where he stretches out and promptly drops off to sleep. Thankfully, he only weighs about fourteen pounds, and in this cold weather, it actually feels pretty good having him as a lap warmer.
I still find it almost unfathomable that I've become such an obsessive dog person. Prior to this, all of my dogs were outside creatures. I gave them small amounts of my time and attention, and that was more than enough for all of us. I guess I just didn't realize how much fun having a dog could be.
Charlie Grosse walks in and he and Dozer begin tormenting each other. Kyle Martin drops by and gives Dozer a full physical workout, running him about the area. Little Isaiah Gonzales drops by to see his mother and he and Dozer play tug of war with the chew toys. Dozer never fails to provide some kind of interaction with the many people who pass through our doors.
And at home, he actually even sleeps with me. The first ten minutes are spent with him rolling himself up in the comforter before dropping off to sleep. Mornings are more fun, with Dozer burrowing deep under the covers when I rise around 5:00 a.m., trying to find the last remaining spots of warmth. When he finally is ready to get up, he has to stretch and yawn several times on the way to the front door.
Friends have joked that if something happens to Dozer, they'll have him stuffed and mounted on my console in the pickup so that I can carry on as usual. I'm practical enough to know that he's a pet to whom I've become attached; but, also emotional enough to know that I'll probably be knocking Teresa Walker's door to see if there is a new litter due any time soon.
It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.