A little over a year ago, we went to the Waco Humane Society, where we adopted a dog that we loved for her giant ears and spunky personality. We named her California, because we had recently vacationed there. Callie seemed a little insecure at first, and she growled and nipped at her older sister, Phoebe. Since I knew that her previous life must have been difficult (she did, after all, end up at the pound), I tried to build up her fragile and untrusting view of the world by showering her with lots of extra love and attention.
Callie loved to be held and petted, and we encouraged her and Phoebe to sit on our laps as we watched movies or read books. As a young bride, I took out my maternal urges on Callie, and carried her around the house on her back, cradled in my arms like a baby. About a month ago, I felt a mysterious lump on Callie’s ribs and thought that she had a tumor. I gave her lots of extra love and attention in case she was dying, which turned out not to be the case.
It’s a very sweet story, except that now, a year later, Callie has become the canine equivalent of the spoiled child (an undesirable menace to society, which I have always vowed never to create). When I am in the room, Callie wants to be held. If I sit on the couch, where she is no longer allowed, she rests her head on the edge of the cushions and whines pathetically. If I am working around the house, Callie follows me around and assumes the begging position every time I pause. She emits a very high pitched, yelping noise if she thinks I am ignoring her. She will not chew on her bone. She will not lay in her bed. She wants my attention now and always.
I’m a little bit worried that when we have a child and Callie has to become an outside dog (because she snaps at kids), that she will die of grief. Literally, like Little Ann in Where the Red Fern Grows, she will lie down in her dogloo one day and not have the will to ever get up again. Wait…that means that my days with Callie are numbered! I better go hold her while I still can.