I am an animal lover. I have been an animal lover since day one of my life. If it is covered in feathers, fur, or even scales, I have loved it, kept it as a pet, and eventually mourned its passing. My goldfish, for example. Won at my elementary school's "Fun Fair", she spent an entire year in our kitchen, living in a glass bowl. Her name, "Patricia The Fisha", emblazoned on the side of the bowl with liquid "Wite-Out". Or, my innocent turtle found wandering along the backyard fence, being fed inchworms, lettuce, and carrots in my sandbox all summer long...only to meet his demise in our basement during his hibernation period. An outcome which still leaves me wracked with guilt to this day. And, yes, I even dabbled in owning two large Hermit Crabs. In fact, I think they actually took over Patricia The Fisha's glass bowl after she lost her fight with ich/ick, and was buried in one of Dad's old cufflink boxes. (Fish did NOT get flushed in our house. My 10 year old brain would have found that to be completely disrespectful.) Many a weekend was spent at my best friend's house, building LEGO cars for them, and pushing them around on her wood, bedroom floor. Alas, the larger your crab becomes, the quicker it "outgrows" its shell. In other words, if you don't have a bigger shell for it to move into, it dies. And they did. Much to my Mom's relief, I'm sure. And, although I'm sure I was sad when it occurred, those aren't the kinds of pets that you mourn over for long periods of time. I always considered our REAL pets to be our kitties. And the McCormick family LOVED their kitties! In fact, our family has always been a cat family. And, aside from asking my parents if we could name my new kitten "Lassie" when I was 5 years old, I honestly don't recall ever really wanting a dog when I was younger. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've always loved dogs. But, cats were more...like me. I liked spending time in my room reading, or drawing, or writing, and just being quiet. I'm not a hyper person. At all. I don't like loud noises, with the exceptions of fireworks and concerts, and I certainly do NOT like mess of any kind. Ever. Eww. So, from the ages of 5 to 41, my life was filled with cats. Enter Bonny...
A little over a year ago my kitty, JoJo, passed away at the ripe old age of 21. I was devastated. She had been my constant companion since I moved away from home in my early 20's. She had been with me through every single one of my ups and downs. Had witnessed, and tolerated, my idiot ex-boyfriends, bad experiences with bottles of hair dye, and even worse experiences with jobs. And, yet, she loved me in spite of it all. Thankfully, I didn't have to go through the mourning process alone. My boyfriend mourned her passing as much as I did, and we swore to live "pet free" for an entire year...which lasted all of 6 months. On that fateful day in September, while attending a Labor Day party thrown by my boyfriend's best friend, I made a random comment. I don't recall my exact words, but apparently they went something like this, "Ya know, lately I've been thinking about getting a dog." (Insert my boyfriend's eyes rolling into the back of his head, while mouthing "NOOOOO!!!!" behind my back.) Now, I'm a firm believer in pets coming into one's life when one needs them the most. Little did I know that approximately 7 weeks later I would be sitting in the passenger seat of my car, holding a crying, 14 lb. ball of fluff in my arms, heading for home. Yep, as luck would have it, the woman I had previously made the random comment to at the party, had a friend whose dog had just given birth to a litter of 6 Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees puppies. And by 6:00 PM that night, we had chosen Bonny.
Fast forward to the present. Today she turned 10 months old. My once 14 lb. puppy is currently sprawled out across my bed, snoring and twitching, with her massive head laying on MY pillow. All 80+ pounds of her. She no longer possesses those needle-sharp puppy teeth (which I can only assume came from Satan himself), that she so loved sinking into the bare skin on my arms and hands. She no longer throws embarrassingly horrific temper tantrums on our walks, so jaw-dropping in their badness, that I toyed with the idea of "accidentally" dropping her leash, and letting her find her own way home. (Fyi-I would never actually do that. However, I did come close to listing her on Petfinder after one particularly horrendous and tear-filled episode.) Instead, what I currently have is this..a dog that is beyond ecstatic to see me walk through the door, whether I have been gone for 2 hours, or 2 minutes. A dog that has a genuine look of happiness on her face, 24/7. A dog that STILL chases her tail, attacks my feet when they're under the covers, and sees absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to play ball at 3:00 AM...even though I'm only awake long enough to go to the bathroom. And finally, a dog that, when sleepy or frightened by thunder, will belly-crawl her way right up next to me, and place her big, fluffy head in my lap...and sleep for hours. So, I guess it's official. This cat person is now a dog person, as well. Happy Birthday to my little Bon-Bon. Your Mommy loves you.