Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Puppy

On Thursday, Francie turned one year old. I meant to write this Thursday night, but all the things I didn't do Tuesday during the election or Wednesday while I working late caught up with me. And then last night I went to a CSO concert and got home at 11:45, which was cutting it pretty close to the post-a-day deadline (hence the cartoon). So anyway: she's growing up.

It's hard to believe she has been around this long. I remember bringing her home and wondering what I'd gotten myself into. She is the most vocal dog I have ever had. She growls if you pick her up and she was comfortable where she was, she whines at the door to go out and when she's begging, and if she is giving herself a really good scratch, she cries while she does it. And also, she barks. A lot. At everything. Luckily for her, I learned a long time ago that the two things we have in common--a love of sleeping in and a distaste for bananas--are the kinds of things that make her easy to love. The things we don't have in common, like bladder control (me) and a taste for stuffed animal innards (her), well, these are things I am willing to overlook when she rolls over on her back and begs for a belly rub.


Sometimes, it has been lonely out here in Denver, and I have to admit that every once in a while I start to feel a little overwhelmed by the fact that I picked up and left a comfortable, familiar life for what was basically a big question mark. On those days I couldn't be more thankful for Francie. I had my first appointment with a new doctor last month and had to list my nearest relative. I had to list my parents in Ohio, and it was so clear in that moment that I am on my own. So I went home and fed Francie about a billion treats and didn't move her to the end of the bed when she curled up next to my head that night.


Of course, she can be frustrating sometimes, especially when it comes to my roommate's cat. Francie is something like an obnoxious eight-year-old sibling to Socks's melodramatic teenager, and at least once a day, I have to break up what Socks considers to be a fight and what Francie considers to be good-natured banter. But they've come a long way, I think, because although the cat doesn't eat the dog food anymore, she still likes to drink Francie's water, and they are usually pretty civil about sharing the space around the food bowls.


So there you have it, I'm one of those people. I'm a dog person. But I can't help it. She's a pretty good dog.

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