When I was seven years old I asked my father for a Saint Bernard not knowing that “because they don’t poop little poop” would become the answer to every request I made for at least eleven more years. I couldn’t stay out past midnight because my boyfriend didn’t poop little poop. Couldn’t go to Florida on Spring Break because people in Florida didn’t poop little poop.
Apparently no dog poops little poop, and since my mother was allergic to cats the Hamilton children grew up without ever knowing the joys of pet ownership or cat mutilation.
Sure I had a couple of pseudo pets, a pair of canaries named after deaf classical composers and a goldfish I accidentally murdered when I thought it might enjoy a warm bath. But I’ve never known the delight of coming home to an animal who not only knows me but is excited enough to see me that he’ll battle gravity and the threat of a back hand to let me know.
So when The Roommate and I arrived at his brother’s house last Wednesday evening I wasn’t prepared for the acrobatic display of worship a five-year-old yellow Labrador could lavish on a single human being. Kozmo hadn’t seen The Roommate in over a year, and 370 days of wound up yearning exploded in tufts of blonde claws and satin ears and circling circling circling with yelping screams so dangerously pitched every fuse box within 100 miles of the Puget Sound burst into fireballs of celebration.
Over the next four days we snuggled, we muzzled, we scratched right there, that spot, that spot, tossed the tennis ball just far enough that his hind end wouldn’t take out the coffee table when he leapt to retrieve it; we tickled, we wrestled, we played “Name that Tune” and marveled at how a dog born in the 90’s could know so many 80’s TV show theme songs. Outside of Corky’s BBQ in Memphis, I’ve never known such love for an animal.
Big poop or little poop, I want me a dog.