Monday, March 2, 2009


They (women, that is) say men are dogs -- and I finally understand why. This weekend I took care of Sammy, my friend Cara's pug, and it was almost like having a two-day fling with Martín, Ariel or Sebastian. No offense to anyone with those names, but the majority of the boys I meet in Buenos Aires tend to go by one of the three.

As you can see in the photo above, Sammy is blond. I generally go for brunettes, but that's splitting dog hairs. And granted, Sammy does certain things that I would never dream of tolerating in a human male: sniffing piss on the sidewalk, picking up strange things on the street with his mouth, doing No. 2 in public and giving the time of day to every other dog that crosses his path (I am, after all, a very jealous boyfriend).

But when it comes to food, Sammy behaves just like so many guys do when it comes to sex. He just can't get enough. The more he gets, the more he wants. This weekend, I was under the distinct impression that whenever I approached, he wasn't so much happy to see me as he was to possibly be getting his insatiable appetite whetted -- or rather, not quite -- again. He wanted it all the time -- morning, noon and night. Every piece of trash that he found just lying around seemed to make its way into his mouth. Sounds like more than a few of the guys I've met.

As a kid, I always wanted a dog. I had no clue what kind of dedication was involved in being a dog owner, but I wanted one -- preferably a beagle, like Snoopy -- because they were so cute. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, now that I think about it), my dad was allergic to dog hair, so I couldn't get one. To make up for it, a friend of my mom's at work would regular give me stuffed pups as presents. Of them all, I remember Pluto (as in the Disney pooch) most fondly. (Years later, my second boyfriend gave me a stuffed golden retreiver which trumped Pluto and which I still have some 15 years on.) Thankfully, I didn't have to feed Pluto, walk him, pick up his dog poop or risk permanent hearing damage, due to his incessant barking.

My real, live pet ended being a tiny frog that my dad brought home one night. How I loved Timmy -- for a week or two. I'd catch live flies for him to eat; dig for worms in the back yard, also for him to eat; and chase him around the bathroom with his bottle whenever he escaped from it. Eventually, I realized that Timmy wasn't meant to be caged (or in his case, bottled); wild hearts run free, and Timmy needed to as well. So one Saturday morning, I let him loose in the backyard. I often wonder how he lived out the rest of his life span and if he ever made it past the back fence.

Although my dad meant well, Timmy was no great substitute for Otto (my favorite dog name). And walking Otto, feeding him, picking up his poop would probably have been far less taxing than digging in the dirt and capturing live flies. And let's face it, there's nothing particularly adorable about a frog (unless it's a cartoon one or a Jim Henson creation, like Kermit). In a strange way, I think dog behavior is kind of cute (in the woof woof breed, like Sammy, not in boys). But of course, I knew that Sammy was merely a weekend fling. If there were ever to be anything more long-term between us, I'd have to know that he was jumping for joy -- or whatever -- whenever I entered the room because he was geniunely happy to see me and not because of the biscuit I may or may not be about to give him.

After all, there's so much more to me than things you can put in your mouth!

5 Great Dog Songs
  • Belly: "Slow Dog"
  • George Clinton: "Atomic Dog"
  • Kim Carnes: "Crazy In The Night (Barking At Airplanes)"
  • Pet Shop Boys: "I Want A Dog"
  • Tears For Fears: "Dog's A Best Friend's Dog"
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