On the Nature of a Man and his Dog

We have a cat that I have talked about somewhat.  Kona Blend Coffee is her name, but we call her Kona.  She was originally Kona of Onyx or Onyx of Kona, but the Onyx moniker has fallen to the wayside, which makes me feel bad because it was Sam’s choice for the kitten.  She is a lovely ball of fluff and I am very glad we got her.  I have never had a cat lick my fingers or playfully bite me.

She did accidentily scratch my head getting on the bed this morning.  I have forgiven her though.

My whole life I have maintained myself to be a dog person.  And to be true, I am.  I will not be a fibber; Dogs are more work to have than cats.  Cats generally take care of themselves and don’t need to be let outside all the time.  I don’t need to take Kona on a walk.  She doesn’t start doing backflips and circles if my hand gets within a foot of a leash.

But I am still a dog person.

I tried explaining this to Sam once, and she didn’t like it.  Men – not all, and certainly not just men – are attached to their dogs.  Attached in a way that is hard to explain or understand.  I have known a few men (parents of friends) who had a dog a while ago.  Losing that dog was so hard they have never been able to get another one.  Yet, these same men would no doubt be able to find a new woman to spend their life with should their current one pass on.

Why is this?  This probably sounds a bit callous, but do we (men) feel more connection with our canines then our wives?  Given the choice between the dog and my lady, who would I rather be in the woods with?  Well, it depends.  Grendel is a terrible geocacher.  I also have to carry his poop.

But on those occasions I want to be alone, I actually mean alone with Grendel.  A dog doesn’t disrupt my thoughts on a walk.  I can talk to him and pretend he is saying back what I want to hear.

I love Sam.  I love her more than any other human being.  But to call her my soul mate is hard.  I feel like I have a dog for a soulmate.  This happens to people.  When Grendel passes on – and he will, he’s already seven – I will have a hard time of it.  I do think I’ll be able to get a new dog, but there will always be a Grendel shaped hole.

My first dog was named Curie.  She was a muttski, as I call them.  The few summers of her life brought clippers to her fur as it was thick and prone to matting.  She was an incredibly intelligent dog and playful.  Curie memorized her trick pattern so that upon sight of a biscuit, she would sit, jump, lay down, roll over, sit back up and bark without command.  The whole process was very funny and I never had the heart to break it down.

Curie’s liver failed when she was two years old.  I was at camp at the time.

Despite Grendel’s impact upon me, I still maintain her to have been the best dog ever.  And that is what I was thinking about on my bicycle today.  Dogs and humans.  We sure do complement each other.

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