Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Sorrow of Puppyless Girls

This is a tale of a family without a pet who got to take care of the cutest little dog in the whole wide world. This is the dog. Say it with me: "Awwwwww....."Photo courtesy of owner of cutest little dog in the whole wide world, Bianca Benson.
Bianca is a professional photographer in Portland, Oregon. She does beautiful work and is a wonderful person. I will tell you more about her another day, I promise

Today's tale is about Bob Barker, her sweet little bichon frise.

Who we all miss greatly after his stay with us while Bianca was off taking photos underwater in Aruba.

Let's back up. We do not have any pets. Mammy likes to travel, you see. And not just for a week or two. For a couple of months at a time, when Professor X is on summer break. For a full year, when Professor X gets sabbatical. (Yay, sabbatical! That is my favorite thing ever. When can we get another one? Probably not very soon, with the economy in the potty. Boo hoo. Still, I'll always have Paris. And Westport. And Sperlonga. That is the nice part of sabbatical. Lots of great memories. And we are grateful he has a job. So no pouting about no new sabbatical.)

The Amazing Children like animals and have lobbied heavily for a pet. Amazing Girl Child really loves bichon frise dogs. Amazing Boy Child and Professor X were just not sure about this, because they seemed like little sissy dogs. Dogs that only girly girls or girly men would like. But after only a few days of Bob Barker looking at them all solemn-like, cocking his little head to the side so adorably, sitting warm and snuggly in their laps, they fell in love too.

Bob Barker won my heart even earlier, when he arrived in his little red tote bag.

Note: This is an unretouched photo.
This is natural cuteness.

Despite his name, Bob Barker does not bark very much. Just the necessary amount. And he is not prone to behaving lecherously like Bob Barker the former game show host allegedly did against the glamorous models on the show. But he probably appreciates the animal rights efforts made by Bob Barker the former game show host.

I just don't know.

Because Bob and I didn't really talk about such things. When the Amazing Children were off at school, Bob and I hung out together at home. Usually I go flitting here and there during the day. I might visit a friend for coffee, or do some leisurely grocery shopping, or just drive off into the Columbia River Gorge for an hour to admire the view of Mt. Hood. (Sh! Don't tell Professor X. He thinks I am home every day slaving away to keep the house all shiny and clean.) But if I'd gone away, I'd have had to fence Bob in. And that did not seem fair. You don't invite a guest to stay in your house only to leave them alone. So I stayed with Bob. And even though he didn't talk, he was great company. And now Bianca is back, and Bob is gone, and I am lonely.

But before he left, I made Bianca promise that Bob could come back soon. So she is going away to some other exotic place with her very fun husband and her camera, and Bob will be here then. It is only a few weeks from now. But everyone is eagerly anticipating his arrival. We like the way he gives us little kisses with his pink puppy tongue and runs around the yard and pounces on things in the grass.

We would love to have him here all the time. But I know in my heart I would get restless after a while and resent him. Because I can't be fenced in forever. So instead we make do with the generosity of our good friend who is willing to share her beloved dog.

The knowledge that Bianca loves to travel too eases our heartache.


Rachel said...

OOOOOhhhhh that is the world's cutest dog and I don't even like furry white dogs. You're a lucky girl to be able to doggy sit that cutie pie.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Isn't he a beaut? What's truly amazing is that not a single hair was shed. I'm not joking. Our dark futon cover, on which he frequently perched, is totally dog hair-free. Yet another mark in his favor.

bushtool said...

You can also foster dogs from the Humane Society if you want a dog that only stays temporarily with you. But be warned it is sometimes hard to give the dog back and certain dogs can be hazardous to your carpet, walls, shoes, etc. (I've fostered dozens of dogs).

You can also hire www.athomepetsitting.com (I am 49% owner) for the times you go away if you end up with a "permanent" dog.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Thanks for the ideas, bushtool. Good to know in case our doggie craving gets insatiable. :)

Frisky Librarian said...

Oh my God, he is SO adorable I almost can't bear to look at him. No wonder you all fell in love.

I used to be in the group of people who are not fans of little white fluffy dogs (sissy dogs) until my mother got a Maltese Terrier who is also incredibly cute and loaded with personality. And so smart! He is wonderful company for her (she's widowed).

I wouldn't have one myself (not that I can at the moment) but I do see the appeal.

You are lucky you get to have the joy of pet ownership without the ongoing responsibilities. Enjoy!

OK, I'm going to have another look at him even though I might suffer cuteness overload.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

T.O.T.A.L. P.U.P.P.Y. C.R.U.S.H.

UGH!!! How can you stand it!?!

Trudy approves and sends her regards to Mr. Barker.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I did say AWWWWW! *laughing* - how cute! What a personality on that face...

I love the Columbia River Gorge - my son lives in Portland....*smiling*!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

He is super cute and this from a woman who regularly threatens her traveling husband about the perils of bringing home a puppy, on a whim.

I love the idea of having a dog, but in reality, I don't have it in me to give up the time or freedom.

I think you have the perfect arrangements...

Bee said...

I'll trade you my bitey cat and two chickens -- you'll get two eggs a day with that -- for that sweet little dawg.

But what's up with the name? (Bob Barker; he really was such a lech. And he used to get quite tetchy and impatient with the contestants.)

We were hold-outs on the "no pets" thing for a long time - primarily because of the "we travel a lot" argument. It really is a pain, too. Borrowing a sweet little doggie really is the best compromise!

phd in yogurtry said...

such a cute little dog on a pt-time basis? not a bad gig!