Left and right. Red and blue. Us and them... the baggage of humans.
Dogs don’t do politics. That’s what we love about them.
They don't take sides. They don’t care about human psycho babble.
They do care about whose in charge.
They don’t debate. Or criticize.
They're too busy chasing life, chasing tails, romping trails. Getting blow dried on the road trip of life.
They aren’t hung up on news or Twitter, CNN or Fox News.
Facebook is irrelevant to them.
They love you unconditionally, even when you don't deserve it.
They may be smarter than humans, despite what scientists say. Because they're way more intuitive.
You think you can hide your feelings, but they just know. And they love you anyway.
They don’t press your buttons. They stand by you until you get outside yourself. For some of us, that could take a lifetime.
Dogs don’t do Twitter. Well, maybe they do. This is dog Twitter:
“Soft warm body pressed up against yours – no words necessary.”
You think you can stay away long hours on trips out of town when the dog sitter takes over. You think they won’t notice. They reward you with a bounce up and down welcome home ceremony. And the top-secret mini poo pile, just this side of the dog door. It’s just a tiny pile - just a small statement. That says so much.
Life downsized our pack. I went from four dogs to two. One is a fake dog.
Tia the kitty would be really catty on Twitter. But she’s dropping the cat act and turning into a dog.
They are the last remaining pack members, after our basset hound friends went to heaven.
The cat and the dog are ignoring breed restrictions. Ignoring politics. They are becoming one - partners.
The cat is rising to the Alpha role. Or co-alpha.
She is first to take possession, within 30 seconds of me sitting or lying down. She always beats the doxie to my lap. She does it effortlessly. Strategically.
So in that contest, he’s #2. Doodle snuggles up alongside us. He backs in, pressing his butt up against her chest, then splaying body parts sideways, oozing in, to make contact with me. That his side slide move. His curly tail spirals around my leg.
Sometimes he carefully crawls up, noses in toward the cat’s stiletto nails, face to face…. verrrrryyyyyy carefullllllllly.
Sometimes she rubs her head against his… like she really loves him… but none of us totally trusts that. It’s more of a head butt, really. She can be a politician.
Doodle has that wild-eyed look like, please don’t throw a sucker punch at me. But he persists. And that has, in turn, softened the cat. Sometimes it all works out.
Sometimes he smooshes in, doxie under cover, all 007 style, a tube of movement under the bedspread, inching closer, as if the cat won’t notice.
Nowadays, the cat snuggles up under covers as quickly as the dog does. Maybe even with him.
But shhhhhhh - don’t tell them I said that.
She has descended from cat throne to soft, dog-like behavior.
She’s dropped the cat-itude.
She’s evolved into a dog.
Just when I was looking for a lap basset on Petfinders, the lap basset appeared.
And the Dennis the Menace doxie has become a little less Dennis. A little softer. More grown up.
I used to think there was a war going on for my attention, but now it’s more like detente. Fragile, hesitant teamwork. Like long-warring parties coming together to pass some really important legislation for the first time. Creating social change, where both sides beat the odds. Overcoming some long time Hatfield and McCoy thing. People stuck between two sides- nobody winning.
Here, the two “dogs” don’t totally trust each other, but are actually trying to work together - and meet in the middle.
Figuring out that working together, they both get what they want – they just don’t exclude the other partner. They may make some critter concessions, but on the grand scale, nothing worth quibbling over.
Maybe this is a long, ugly custody battle over me, that just took a positive turn?
The cat, unlike the dog, is a much more political animal.
She’s into power and isn’t always soft and fuzzy – or is, but usually with purpose. She likes being Alpha. She likes being on top. Lap cat.
The dog just wants to be there. Lap dog. He wants to be #1. More love, more attention, more adventure. More road trips and surfing with mom.
Doodle bumbles in, tries to take over my lap, and the house, and the pack. He thought he was Alpha too.
There’s an absence of clear power without someone in charge.
It’s the two party system. Dog vs. Cat. Neither in charge. Neither has veto power.
But they both flex themselves, when it’s really important.
Sometimes I feel like I am the prize. Sometimes, a citizen stuck between two warring political parties. A kid two parents are fighting over.
And when the dog and the cat drop their drive to be Alpha, #1 - they blend into one. One species. Curled up, yin and yang.
Everyone wins. No one’s in charge. Just the three of us as one.
Being in charge is so over rated. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for each other.
This wasn't possible, not for this cat and this dog, with a full pack of dogs in the house.
Elvis, my dearly departed Alpha Basset, was always in charge. He loved the cat - they were one. No war for top dog between them. Everyone got along. Elvis was king, without even trying - with all of us in the pack.
Now that Elvis is gone, Doodle the doxie wanted so badly to assume Alpha and earn all that love and trust. But he hasn’t earned the cat cred that Elvis had.
Dude, his basset brother (RIP,) gave up on Alpha long ago. He was top dog in surf dog contests. He competed - and won - against other dogs, but never his own pack.
Dude was bff’s with Elvis. Everyone was. Alpha Elvis wasn’t kingly. He was a love buddy.
Now that we’re down to two “dogs,” those two have expanded to fill the void. The calico and the doxie. They’ve expanded into me. And they've expanded into each other. Even though they’d never admit it.
Number three and number four try harder. Now together, they are #1.
Co-Alphas. Parents. Partners. The third, neutral party.
It’s a whole new era in our home in the absence of basset hounds.
The two remaining dogs may not be low rider bassets, with silly-sad faces - stand-up comedians wearing basset-hound-hearts-on-sleeves. That were accidental Alphas.
But the cat and the doxie are surprisingly able to evolve.