"These people are so weird," we said. And we knew we were better. Of course, now that I am the proud alpha dog of our household with two yapping, excitable little dogs ... well ... we're worse, much, much worse.
I remember the day we picked up Stevie as a puppy--all one-plus pounds of her.
A blonde curly ball of... I saw myself walking the little fur ball around the neighborhood, sheepishly hoping not to be recognized as my somewhat precarious manhood is ruined by the image of 250 pounds of bluster being dragged down the street by seven pounds of Stevie. A peek-a-poo no less. So cute it hurts.
So I said to my wife, "Honey," while holding Stevie in one hand, "I ... she's nice and all but... I think I'm going to need a bigger dog, too. You know... bigger."
She looked at me as only women, or your wife, can do, with that "You are such a big dumb brute, Bob, how can you not be totally in love with this lovable little... etc., etc."
Problem was, though, neither of us realized it at that moment, or at least I didn't, but I was, well, a goner. Done. Toast. Hopeless and out of control. I was in love.
Stevie was not really a true peek-a-poo (a Pekinese-poodle cross). One parent was a tera-poo (that's a terrier-poodle cross), and one was a peek-a-poo, making Stevie--a what? A tera-peek-a-poo? Well, a very fine mutt, indeed, let me tell you, pulling the pictures from my wallet to prove it.
For those first few days, I held her. Day. And night. She snuggled and sniffed and licked and stayed on my chest and shoulder. We, well, we bonded. I mean she's blonde, she's cute, she loves me unconditionally and Marie says it's OK. Isn't love grand?
Stevie has traveled with us everywhere. Santa Monica, Fifth Avenue, Maine, dinners. They (there are now two dogs and two cats) have better health care than almost the entire planet, and I still question who's in charge. After all, they get to sleep all day while we what? Work! To support them.
Now there's two. Puddy (think Yorkshire pudding) came into our life a year later. A small Yorkshire terrier, incredibly smart, impossible to house train, barks at the drop of a hat and loves me madly. All because Marie got stuck at a shopping center during a storm and wandered into... well, you know, a pet store.
So here I am, the proud papa of two incredibly cute, yapping little dogs. They have totally changed my life. Up early to walk and feed them, and since I work at home they hang out with me in the office, though sometimes at the most inopportune moments they hear a pin drop somewhere else and go tearing off at high decibel only to find it was... nothing. Meanwhile, just as I am trying to close a major lighting project for a client on the phone... "Yap YAP YAP YAP!" Ah well, it adds to my well known eccentric personality.
But have no fear! Not being one to take such a setback lying down, I decided to do what any good American would do: Start a club, a Web site, T-shirts, bumper stickers, conventions, blogs, recipes, tip sheets, all about--Big Men & Little Dogs.
And as with everything in the good ol' Yew Es Eh, if one guy likes it, there must be thousands just like me, waiting to come out of the closet and admit: "Dammit, I own a little dog and I'm proud!" (sniffles, applause)
And of course there's our motto (every club needs a good motto, remember): It takes a Big Man to love a Little Dog.
God bless, and off to PetSmart.