Back when Al Franken hosted a radio show, one of his guests was an expert on “big cats”—tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, etc.
Franken asked her, “If my house cat, my domesticated pet, were big enough, would she eat me?”
The expert didn’t hesitate: “Yes, probably.”
So much for our feline “friends.”
Now don't get me wrong; I love cats, and in the past, a few have kept me as their pet. But I am a confirmed dog person.
This is Lucy. We adopted her at our local shelter eight years ago, when she was about a year old. Her DNA is Dachshund, Miniature Pinscher and Boston Terrier. Lucy weighs 21 pounds. Even if she were 200 pounds, Lucy would never eat me.
Lucy sleeps in our bed between my wife Janice and me every night, under the covers, snuggling and nestled against my side.
Supposedly, if you allow your dog to sleep with you, it will cause him or her to bark excessively. I do not understand the psychology behind that theory, but Lucy is indeed a vigilant and vocal protector of our domain.
Although Lucy does not regard me as prey (she prefers squirrels), she does appreciate my salinity. Every morning, Lucy dutifully and thoroughly licks the salty sleep from my eyes. She then progresses to a tongue lavage of my nostrils, which I endure for her sake. When she has finished the job, she rolls onto her back and bares her pink belly, upon which I plant my open mouth and produce a loud, sloppy raspberry, eliciting faint little grunts of piglet pleasure.
The whole routine is choreographed. Some might deem it unsanitary, and maybe even a bit disgusting.
The bond that Lucy and I share is so obvious that it has caused my wife to experience a tinge of jealousy. Recently Janice said that she sometimes wonders if I love Lucy more than I love her.
“Oh, honey,” I said, “don’t be ridiculous. It’s just that Lucy is so uninhibited with her show of affection. And I have to reciprocate because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Of course I love you more. I mean, she’s just a dog.”
“I’m never going to lick your eyeballs.”
"Your, uh, you know, ocular secretions."
“Oh, of course not. Don't be silly. But....”
“But—say if every time I come home, whether I’ve been away two weeks or two hours, you would run as fast as you can to greet me at the door, wearing nothing but a monogrammed reflective pink collar, shaking your butt like crazy, and frantically paw me all over, and leap up into my arms, getting so excited that you lose control of your bladder, well, then it would be a no-brainer. No contest. Definitely.”
“If I ever did that, you’d have a heart attack on the spot.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. But I’d die a happy man.”
“Well, don’t worry, ain’t gonna happen. Besides, I wouldn’t want to make Lucy jealous.”
* * *
Lucy and I are still bonding every night, and continuing our morning ritual, and now she and Janice and I also sometimes cuddle together in a threesome on our big comfy couch in the living room, sharing a bag of popcorn and watching DOGTV.
My vision is amazingly clear.