So, I’ve been reading the book Cesar’s Way by celebrity dog trainer, Cesar Millan (because I’m not just a crazy cat lady – I also have two dogs!). He’s so famous in the US that I’m sure I don’t need to explain who he is to my American readers. I’m not sure if his show “The Dog Whisperer” has made it across the pond yet, but if it hasn’t, all that my UK readers really need to know is that Millan basically helps “troubled” dogs whose only problem is that their owners are stupid, spoiled Americans.
He’s quite an interesting guy. Arrived in the US from Mexico as an illegal immigrant, and now he’s a friend to various Hollywood celebrities. He must be worth a fucking fortune. When I was in my local pet shop last weekend, I saw that he now has his own “Dog Whisperer” Product Line, complete with “Fresh Breath Fortified Water” for dogs. Jesus.
If you can get through the book’s self-congratulatory introduction with its annoying shout-outs to his celebrity friends (“Ooh, Jada Pinkett Smith – you’re simply an angel”; “Oprah, darling, sweetie, you’re just such an amazing human being” yadda yadda yadda), it’s actually a very good read. A lot of the stuff in it is plain common sense, but there are also plenty of “a ha” moments when you realize that you know embarrassingly little about dogs.
Reading the book has actually made me feel very guilty. I have barely walked my dogs at all this summer because it was just so goddamn fucking hot, and then not walking them became a bad habit. I do have a very large yard they get to frolic around in, but I tend not to let them out there for very long because there are too many crazy people in this neighbourhood. One of my dogs is a pit bull mix, and some asshole passers-by feel that it is their duty to “toughen her up” – I’ve caught people throwing stones at her, and one guy even punched her through the fence. Oh, and then of course there was the time when my pit bull escaped through a hole I didn’t know was there and nearly got shot by the police…just for being a pit bull! She’d done nothing wrong!
Cesar Millan advocates walking your dog for at least an hour and a half each day! This is quite a daunting task, but I did notice that my dogs developed some little behavioural issues this summer, probably because they weren’t getting enough walks. If walking them for that long will make them happy, then that’s what I have to do. I have a responsibility to them, and I don’t want to let them down.
Yesterday I was walking my dogs, on a route I wouldn’t usually take, when I saw a very pretty girl walking towards me with a young, beautiful pit bull. As we both had pits, we stopped to talk to each other, and, oh, she was soooooo cool. When she told me where she was from (Montréal originally), she looked at me strangely, as I think I squealed out in excitement. I’m not usually that excitable but I’ve had Montréal on the brain recently because I’ve been reading Bazookah Joe, a blog written by another Montréal woman. The main reason I read her blog is because she’s an interesting person and writes well, but it also pleases me to think about her traipsing about in a cold, snowy, urban city…so different from where I live now. The idea of it is just so romantic! I’ve been to Montréal three times, and I loved it, and I can easily imagine myself living there one day. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Given all of this, it was just very strange to bump into a Montréaler, one of only two I’ve met in real life (three, if you include my blog friend).
I hope I didn’t scare this woman off, as I am so desperate for intelligent, stimulating friends here that I may have come off as a bit needy. Besides Midwestern Man, I don’t have any good friends here. Oh, of course, there are people I know with whom I can go for drinks, but they’re not really friends, merely acquaintances. Midwestern Man thinks the reason I don’t have any friends is because I’m some sort of anti-social cat person, and, OK, there’s a tiny element of truth to that. However, the main reason is that I just don’t meet anybody I particularly want to be friends with.
This girl, though…She’s smart, funny, well-travelled, well-educated, bilingual, independent…but more than that she just has that certain “je ne sais quoi” that I need in my friends. I don’t quite know to explain what it is. In fact, I’ve almost forgotten that such a thing exists. I mainly remember it when I meet other Europeans, or foreigners. This “thing” just means that conversation flows; I feel at ease in the other person’s company; I don’t have to worry they’re secretly some kind of Republican pro-life nutjob who’s totally uptight about everything; I don’t have to spend all night listening to them trying to imitate my accent, and telling me how they’re from my country, too, even though they wouldn’t be able to point it out on a map. Yuck!
Yup, I really like this girl, and I hope we can hang out. We exchanged phone numbers, but I almost want to wait for her to call me as I’m sure I gave off a pathetic “Befriend me! Please God, befriend me!” vibe.
What should I do? Leave it a couple of days before calling her, or what?