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They called it puppy love

I just realized that I would never feed my dog "No Name" dog food, but I buy "No Name" food for my kids all the time!

I think she's spoiled. Her name is Minnie May (After Elvis's grandmother) and she is a cross between a black Lab and a terrier. If you just picture that for a moment it must have been like Fifty Shades of Gray - the dog version.

She's not a designer dog. I got her off the internet for free. My daughter begged me for two years to get a dog. She promised on her life that she would walk it and clean up after it. That lasted for about a week until she realized cleaning up after it meant picking up poop and putting it in a bag. Apparently she didn't know dogs pooped. She thought they used the toilet like her brothers. So walking and picking up poop became Mom's job!

I was never a dog person. I had one years ago. It was a Dalmatian that a lawyer gave me for free. He was too busy with his law practice to take care of it. I took it not knowing what I was getting into. I should have known better than to take something free from a lawyer.

I had always been a cat person and cats don't need anything except someone to open the food tin and clean out their litter box. Other than that, they could care less if you ever came home. Dogs are like babies. They need to be walked, cuddled, fed and checked on every few hours.

What the lawyer didn't tell me was that the Dalmatian was a thief. Insert your own lawyer joke here. Every time I let him out in the back yard he would take off and steal things from the neighbours. Every morning I would find kid's bicycle helmets, tools, teddy bears and other items in my yard. He even stole the steak off a neigbour's grill one night! My neighbour across the street was painting her window trim and as soon as she laid the paint brush down, he stole it! One day he came home with what looked like another teddy bear in his mouth. When he dropped it in the garden it started to run around. He stole a small dog from another yard!

The last straw came during Halloween. I let him out in the yard to pee that morning and let him in shortly afterwards. When I left for work I was shocked to see my lawn covered in orange Halloween garbage bags filled with leaves. He went around to all the neigbour's houses and stole their decorative Halloween bags. I had to run from house to house putting a bag on every lawn. After that I gave him to a farmer. I never told him the dog was a thief.

So I was very hesitant about taking another free dog.

For some strange reason Minnie May bonded with me. Everywhere I went, she went. If I am in the bathroom, she is outside the door. If I am washing dishes, she is asleep by my feet. Last year I had to go to Vancouver for six weeks for work. She wouldn't eat while I was gone. I had to phone home and get my daughter to put me on the speaker phone so I could tell Minnie to eat.

After a while she grew on me. I admit I like the dog more than I like most people. Because of her I now have to go walking everyday, which is good. She has become my personal trainer.

Last summer, I walked her on a walking trail around a local lake. It had rained earlier in the day and the pathway was still a little muddy. I keep a towel and a water bowl in the trunk of my car for Minnie.

So I am standing at the rear of my car with the trunk open pouring water into the dog bowl and she jumps up into the trunk. So I dried off her feet and let her drink the water. I was just about to take the towel and put it on the front seat of my car for the dog to sit on when this man sneaks up on me and screams "Take that dog out of the trunk!" I was startled first and then I started to laugh because I thought he was joking. People were looking at us. Then he yells at me "If you close that trunk I'll call the cops! People like you shouldn't have dogs." Then he walks away. I realized he wasn't joking. He really thought I was going to put Minnie in the trunk and drive home.

I couldn't get the words out of my mouth fast enough. By the time I got my thoughts together the man was stomping all the way up the road. People in the parking lot were whispering and looking my way. So I loudly say, "Come on Minnie. If you're finished with your water get in the front seat. Where you always sit. Up front with me. In the heated seats. Cause I would never lock you in the trunk." She happily jumped out and into the front seat. I tore out of the parking lot like I stole the car.

Lesson learned. Dogs aren't as stupid as you think. Up to that day she always sat in the back seat. Now she sits in the front.

When I was recovering from back surgery and on bed rest for ten weeks, Minnie May would wait for my husband to leave each morning then she would run up to our room and jump up on the bed, curling up on his side and putting her little black face on by chest. She'd sit there all day. Only leaving my side to bark out the window at the mailman. She hates him.

Minnie May is two and a half now and she's grown on me. I just told my daughter we can't afford to go shopping for back-to-school clothes until payday. An hour later I spent $40 on a new red dog collar covered in bling.

She knows what I am saying to her too. I talk to her all day long. Minnie cocks her head to one side and blinks her big brown eyes and I know she's saying "You're right Mom!" You can see it in her eyes.

I still have a cat, Sylvester. They've worked out their living arrangements. The dog doesn't piss him off and Sylvester lets her live another day. Every now and then Minnie gets a little brave and tries to play with Sylvester. The cat just gives her the "Oh really!" look and she runs over to me with the "I think he likes me Mom!" look. I haven't got the heart to tell her the truth.

So now I am a dog person too. Every day I walk Minnie around the block and see all the other dog people. Just like motorcycle drivers we wave at each other "Hello dog person." Then we all take the most biodegradable thing in the world and put it inside the most non-biodegradable thing in the world and throw it in a land fill.

I'd be lost without Minnie May now. She has become this women's best friend and I really do like her more than most people. When I think about it, she's the only one in the world who can get me to pick up her poop!

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