Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Pocket-Kibbling Puppy Fraud

I've moved to an entirely different, but parallel, city and time zone, one where I'm exotic and irresistible, and it's great. This one is mapped according to grassy patches and trash cans. I've made a lot of new friends here, Luna, Gustav, Turner and countless others, but they're into public defecation and it's hard for me to embrace their subculture. My roommate is doing her best to integrate me, it comes so naturally to her.

This morning, I spoke to 25 people more people than usual, using language I barely grasp (heavy on breeds and canine health references), about four hours earlier than I'd normally interact with anyone at all. I did so before coffee and wearing no make-up, motivated to leave my house only by the prospect of not having to wipe urine from my refinished wood floor. But, to the untrained eye, I am a "dog person", and that gets me major "cute" points.

The truth is, I am a pocket-kibbling puppy fraud. It's not my puppy, she's a foster puppy belonging to an organization with a much higher purpose, and the only reason she listens to me is because I have a pocket full of kibble. My other pockets bulge with poo-bags and emergency squishy, meaty treats in case I really need some pull. Seriously, I don't usually smell like dog food.

To her credit, she's the cutest puppy I've ever met, and it's she who is irresistible, not me, even if she eats shit sometimes. Recently, in the classifieds section of a local publication, an anonymous admirer declared that I am "nearly as cute as [my] puppy", and he'd like to meet us. Before my foster-puppy arrived, I might have been offended by any comparison to an animal, but my context is now kibble crumb-coated, and I'm starting to get it.

Already she's shaken my existence, but when she grows up, this noble little puppy will be an assistant to a child with special needs, and make a more significant contribution to that child's life than most people ever could, and I love her for it. A lot. It's an honour to be her sidekick, for however long that may be, even if it means that I am, once again, just the pretty girl's best friend.

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