I am a nice person, really I am. But I am not a dog lover. Please don’t judge me.
My long held reason for this is that I didn’t grow up with a dog. My parents both grew up on farms and they always told us that dogs belong on farms. All of my siblings who also had this “dog belong on farms” mentality are now dog owners. But truthfully, I can’t really say that I have learned to love their dogs either. In fact except for my sister’s little white dog suitably named “Lola” and spoiled rotten, I get my the other two family dogs mixed up and call them by a combo of their name: Junior/Cooper or Cooper/Junior whichever comes to mind first.
And I realize that this dog aversion carries over into my books as well. Everyone loved “Marley and Me” but it just didn’t do it for me. My book club raved about “the Art of Racing in the Rain” which was told in the voice of a dog. Nope. Didn’t like it. I was the only dissenting opinion on that one.
Now I am wondering if my dog fetish is even broader, does it cover all animals? Admitedly, I liked “Water for Elephants” and I was really into “the Elegance of a Hedgehog” until the very, very bad ending. Then my book club read “Hannah’s Dream” which is about an pet ELEPHANT and any momentum towards animals was once again lost. Then they pulled a practical joke and created a whole list of potential book titles all around warm fuzzy animal stories. I was dumbfounded and thought I may have to quit this group until they got me good enough and they all burst out laughing at their joke on me.
So flash forward to a few weeks ago: my work book club was in need of a light, fun, easy read and so we picked “The Dog Lived and So Will I” by Teresa J. Rhyne. I was skeptical but I wanted to stay open minded. This book is a true story about a woman who survived breast cancer after living through her dog’s cancer. And while it was pretty funny and met the prerequisite of being a fairly easy read I found myself reflecting on this dog/book issue I have. I laughed at the parts of the book that centered around Teresa and her family but when she went off the deep end for her dog to the point that she wouldn’t even leave him alone because of his constant barking: I grew extremely irritated.
But maybe there is hope for me, because last night my husband and I were over at my friend Molly’s house and I noticed that I really do like her golden lab named Sadie. (I just now wondered if her golden is a lab or a retriever? Heck I realize I wouldn’t really even know the difference). But back to Sadie the one dog I may like: She has grown on me over the years. She has gotten to know me and she no longer jumps on me and when I see her. Basically, she is just a pretty chill dog with very little drama. I realize that at this point in my life, I am looking for some things to be just a little bit easy.
So, while I won’t rule out all dog books, I realize that they come with some baggage for me. I may need a doggie bag!