posted by [identity profile] revdorothyl.livejournal.com at 06:44am on 01/10/2014
I've always been a cat-person, in spite of my allergy issues, though I didn't have any pets at all (other than the pets of friends that I occasionally took care of over holiday breaks, etc.) during my years in Nashville (first, I was living in tiny efficiency apartments as a returning doctoral student and didn't feel it was fair to ask even a cat to share such a small space, with me away at school much of the time, and later my living space was bigger but my hours away from home grew even longer).

I've often enjoyed other people's dogs as a visitor or very short-term pet-sitter, but never, EVER envisioned myself as a willing dog-owner/adopter, since I'm far more comfortable with and fond of cats. But my sister has become a real dog-person over the past 18 years, with her third and much-beloved dog having been killed in traffic just two days before our Mom died this February (her latest dog was barely out of puppy-hood but was a tiny and very high-energy terrier mix who kept finding holes in the fence around Sister's yard, which is what led to her untimely death in the street), and I knew Sis was longing to have a permanent dog in her life again someday.

I was hoping she'd be content with occasional foster-dog situations, with the understanding that cleaning up doggy accidents inside and scooping poops outside was her sole responsibility, and that "This is not your room!" would be my invariable reply to any dog who tried to enter my bedroom (a la the classic "Turner and Hooch")! It even seemed to be working, as Sister found it exhausting enough to deal with some little puppies we fostered in June and a pair of overly rambunctious adult dogs she took care of for vacationing foster families in July. Sister was beginning to make discouraged remarks about perhaps no longer being physically or emotionally resilient enough to deal with a full-time and very demanding new dog.

But then she got the yen to foster again and brought home Tillie, and the little dickens seems like the best possible compromise for a cat-lover with allergies living with a heart-sick dog-lover. So, I've been letting Sis teach me how to bathe Our Dog and other homely tasks that the cats I used to keep in Iowa never required, and it's not so bad! :)

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