For my 15th birthday, one of my girlfriends somehow convinced my mom to let her give me a cat to replace the one that had run away/died/joined the circus or whatever. His name was Oscar and while he was adorable, he was generally a pain in the ass. If his litter box wasn't cleaned to his liking, he would lie in front of it and meow until it was. If he was hungry at 3 a.m., he would pounce onto your bed in the dark and paw at your face until you fed him. During the summer, he liked to stay outside all night ... or at least until he decided he wanted back in, and then he would stand underneath your window and howl he was let back in. This cat would jiggle the handle on the toilet, begging for you to flush it so he could watch the water swirl.
I loved that stinkin' cat, and up until a few years ago I considered him the neediest animal I'd ever known.
But I was wrong. Oh, was I wrong.
This is my dog, Waylon. Yes, she's a girl with a boy's name. But it SO fits her, you see, because all she ever does is WAIL.
Should have named her Wailin'.
Are Beagles bred to be narcissitic? Because when this dog is around people, she demands all attention. She wants to be looked at, talked to, petted and fed at all times. No matter how hard we've tried to convince her that she's not a lap dog, she simply won't listen. If you have hands or a lap, she expects a cuddle.
She accompanied me on the trip to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, and she never. left. my. side. If I went out to get the mail or newspaper, she stood at the door, scratching and whining until I came back. If I tried to use the bathroom, she'd nose her way in. Sitting down? Ha. Not unless I wanted a 20-pound blanket.
She's also a bed hog.
But I've noticed something about animals, or at least the two that have been my primary pets. They have this ability to sense when something's not right. We've all heard stories of the pets who can smell cancer or wake an entire family before their house falls in on them, and these stories fascinate me. I totally believe them.
Thankfully I've never experienced anything that dramatic. My pets have just been able to sense when I'm upset or going through a difficult time. As a teenager lying facedown on my bed, sobbing about the utter unfairness of the entire world (as teen girls are wont to do), Oscar would lie next to me and touch my face with his paw, and sit with me until I felt better.
Waylon is the same way. She's always been clingy, but it was amplified this week and there was just something different in her eyes. Like she was concerned. About someone other than herself.
A Thanksgiving miracle!
I have been going through a tough time lately, but knowing that I not only have SO MANY humans who care, but also an animal? Pretty cool.
Even if she does hog the bed.