Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pack of two.

I'm reading this book right now by one of my favorite writers, Caroline Knapp. It's called Pack of Two and it's terrific.

My nightly routine has always been to read, but with this book reading also entails snuggling up with Lucy. The book is about the "intricate bond between woman and dog" so it's only fitting that Lucy accompany me in bed with the book.

Plus, look at her. She's so effing CUTE:

lucy backpacking
Originally uploaded by Rosalicious.

It's amazing to me how much I love this creature! I love Hendrix, my cat, very much, but my relationship with him is an entirely different thing. My love for Lucy must be like what it's like to be a mother and love your child--I mean, I'm only guessing here seeing as I don't have any children yet, but it's a love that just fills me up and makes me want to bust my insides out with joy....

The only way for people to possibly understand me without thinking I'm totally wack over my dog is to describe it as a --and you've heard me say this before-- CUTE ATTACK! I look at Lucy and the urge to baby talk and call her potty names and snuggle and cuddle and pet her is uncontrollable. I pass her and I can't resist touching and cooing at her. My life revolves around her. I'm her Mama. Kevin's her Daddy. And it's been great practice.

Originally uploaded by Rosalicious.

Caroline Knapp writes about anthropomorphizing her dog Lucille and my god, DO I RELATE! She also writes about projecting your own fears and emotions on your dog, either affecting them in uncanny ways (one example is a woman who lives with constant fear and anxiety and essentially has subconciously trained her dog to constantly be protective and on edge) or not affecting them at all--only imagining that the dog feels a certain way when really she could care less (definition of anthropomorphizing removed here as Kevin thought it insulted my readers' intelligence).

I don't believe that Lucy doesn't feel fear or loneliness or anxiety or boredom. We've lost too many items around the house for that! And I think she loves me as much as I love her. She sure acts like it! She's such an affectionate little thing. And so obedient. I don't think I could own a dog who wasn't these things....but then again, she is my dog. I must take some credit for making her this way.

Stinky Poops
Originally uploaded by Rosalicious.

Recently I have been running to the dog park with Lucy, hanging out for about 20 minutes, and running home. Lucy has never been a fan of the dog park, but I want her to like it SO badly because I like it so much. It's quite entertaining to watch all the dogs play, fun to talk to their owners; it's very much a social scene that I enjoy being a part of.

I am convinced that Lucy will warm up to it--and she is, a little. If it's not crowded she will run around and play--last night she and a Weimereiner (spelling?) puppy got on swimmingly. But if it starts to get crowded, she cowers under my chair or sticks by my side like velcro. Is she still enjoying it? Is it good for her to be around these dogs? How can I tell? She likes other dogs-I'm sure of that. Put her in someone's yard with 4 or 5 other dogs and she's queen-bee.

Then I access some old fears of my own...being shy, finding it hard to be in big groups of people, being scared to be the first one to initiate conversation. I tell Lucy to "go make friends," just like my Mom might have told me when I was little. And I hated that.

Of course, I can't dissect any of this nearly as well as Caroline Knapp. But it's got me thinking about Lucy and being her Mama and how I might be when I actually give birth to a real live baby.

If you own a dog--or even a cat--go read this book, right away! You'll agree with every word she says (maybe even acquiring a little wine buzz beforehand after which you recite every. single. line. that you find profound to your boyfriend who is lying next to you not finding it nearly as interesting as you are) and you will want to hug your furry punkin' eater(s) as close as possible.

You'll love this book, I promise.


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