A little over a month ago, we got a puppy. She's THE cutest thing that ever walked and breathed. She's a dream come true; I've wanted a Pembroke Welsh Corgi ever since I read Tasha Tudor's picture books as a young child.
During my 22 New York years, I fancied myself a cat-only person, but now I know the truth: I love this dog. I love Goldberry, our spherical tabby cat, but not with the utter besottedness with which I love Moneypenny.
To be fair to the cat, we adopted her as a deeply abused adult. She was skittish and grumpy and obese, and we had to love her into docility. She's mellowed over the nearly ten years we've owned her--but she's still a cat. Aloof. Contemptuous. Independent.
Moneypenny ("Penny" for short), on the other hand, came to us as an 8-week-old ball of energetic fluff. She wags her tail and she licks our faces, all without a trace of shyness or embarrassment. And she needs us in ways the cat has never needed us. I'll tell you this: getting a puppy is like having a newborn baby. It's a lot of work. And the aphorism has proved true once again: when you serve, you love.
I've always known that people anthropomorphize their dogs, but now I know why. Penny's eagerness and silliness are the most endearing things. Just looking at her makes me smile. Her huge ears and intelligent eyes. Her soft belly. The way she moves her hind legs in ecstasy when you're scratching just the right spot on her chest. The way she perks up when I utter the word "treat." That little stub of a tail. ADORBS.
And here's the weird thing. Suddenly, I have new friends everywhere. Neighbors who only nodded as they walked by our house now stop and chat. Fellow drivers smile and wave when they see Penny riding shotgun. The dog owner's world is like a parallel universe that I never even knew existed. It's fascinating, but also great.
So, mock me if you must. I've become a dog person, and I couldn't be happier.