The 4-legged feud

Lessons in love and pet ownership

I've said this earlier and I'll say it again: You have to start being yourself by at minimal the second date. This is no truer than when pets come into the picture. It's all too easy to "ooh" and "ahh" and pal around with some hottie's Chihuahua to get her to like you when all you really want to do is drop-kick Fido and score a field goal. Big mistake. A friend of mine is now the proud co-owner of two Yorkies, and both sides of the pair wish the mutts would get into the cleansing cabinet and have a few toasts -- but they can't imagine parting with two members of the "family" (let alone explaining what happened to the kids).

Also, mind "gateway dogs." You meet her when she has a lovely boxer you truly relish scrapin' around with. Flash forward 6 months and dozens of dates. She brings home Puddles, the lovely poodle she's sure you'll love because you get along with Buster so well. Rut row! Can't really say no now. Better get used to walking a gaggle of dogs that all weigh fewer than a pitcher of beer, bite your ankles, begin yipping at 5 a.m., and now share your pillow.

As for me, I'm a cat guy. We raised up with them in the house, sitting on laps and so on. My love grew up in the country and had cats as well -- she wasn't a huge fan, but she suffered them. So one day I say, "How about a cat?", and she says "OK". I envision the little furball watching TV from my lap, napping happily by the window on a small bed, and going outside to chase birds;and do its job. My lady imagines a cat living in the bushes tracking away lizards and the snakes and mice we don't have in the city, and sometimes tracking us down outside for a little head scratch. You may have now noticed slightly dissimilar takes on cat-owning-utopia. Of course, neither of us actually mentioned any of this to the other until Fluffy was ours. I would say hilarity ensued, but it hasn't really been that entertaining.

So, like I said, you get one date to be a pushover and try to get a second one. After that, you had best be yourself, because if you don't, you'll pay for it later. Not only that, but never assume you guys have the same take on a given subject. Because the ol' "assuming making an ass of you and me" adage is never a bigger deal than in a loving relationship.

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8/13/10 20:19:44

that is the worst advics -- tracy

10/10/10 15:34:11

You are dead on. I went without dogs for years to please a partner. Now I'm single and have a wonderful dog. Any man I have in my life will need to be OK with a dog living in the house, or he'll need to walk on. -- Wendy

11/02/10 20:18:36

Okay, I have a dog (nuetered) and my boyfriend has a dog (not neutered). Both are great dogs but they've never met, because mine one- has issues with unneutered dogs and two- has issues with strangers. My boyfriend is also concidering not getting his dog nuetered because he worries it will effect his great personality. Any suggestions? -- Krissy

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