Tag Archives: dogs

People who don’t like animals are weird.

I’m not sure how long I have until the battery on my iPhone dies, so I’ll make this quick. I’ve decided to do NaBloPoMo again, so it would be embarrassing if I missed the first day.

Sitting in a café, sipping on yet another soy chai, and listening to the Velvet Underground, and to the overly-tattooed barista say “dude” and “man” too much. I’ve just returned from a volunteering session with this high school senior I’ve been mentoring since last October. I helped him pass the reading section of the SAT’s, and now I’m helping him find and apply to scholarships. He’s a good kid – very polite and responsible.

My meeting with the musician didn’t go terribly well on Monday. Well, he was nice enough but we just didn’t click. I could tell we wouldn’t as soon as he walked through the door. You may call that overly judgemental; I’d call it intuition. He was one of those people who don’t like revealing anything about themselves, or care to ask you much about yourself. How the hell are you supposed to have a conversation in that kind of situation? People like that scare me, to be honest. I have realized, through experience, that some people are like that because they’re shy or socially awkward, but this guy wasn’t like that. He was just guarded. Why be guarded? What are you hiding?

I also didn’t like the fact that he completely ignored my cats and dogs. I have well-behaved animals, so it wasn’t like they were all over him, causing mayhem. My dog did sniff around him a bit, and, for some reason, decided she liked him, and lay beside him on the couch but again…nothing. Didn’t acknowledge her existence except maybe a slight sign of irritation. I don’t expect people to love my pets anywhere near as much as I do, or to pay them as much attention, but I find it off-putting when people treat them as an inconvenience, or just simply ignore them. I realize that some people are scared of animals or have alleriges, but this wasn’t this guy. I can’t help but think that people who don’t like animals are missing the compassion gene.

What do you think? Have I got a point?


Of dogs and diarrhoea

It’s a beautiful day outside. It’s about fourteen degrees celsius (that’s sixty degrees fahrenheit, you yanks), and the weather is gloriously sunny. I can hear the sound of joyous gospel music from the church across street.

Unfortunately I can also hear the sound of my chihuahua crapping on my bedroom carpet.

I should have known something was up yesterday when I let my two dogs outside in the yard to pee and they didn’t come back when I called. This is nothing unusual for my pit bull (who’s a right little stubborn so-and-so) but my chihuahua is a spoiled wee bitch, and can hardly bear to be separated from me for even two milliseconds, especially if it’s chilly outside. There’s only thing that my chihuahua loves more than me, and that is food. When she didn’t come back, I immediately suspected that some moron had thrown bones over the fence into my yard for my dogs to eat. I was right.

I don’t know why people think they have the right to throw shit into my yard, especially cooked bones which can splinter in a dog’s throat and choke them. I didn’t get a good look at these bones but it also looks there’s some kind of spicy shit on them, which is causing havoc with my dogs’ digestion! My pit bull woke me up at 5:00 a.m. whining incessantly because she obviously had an urgent need to crap. Before going to bed last night, I had to clean up chihuahua crap in front of the main door, and there was another little pile of crap there when I let the pit bull out.

And, oh guess what?! There’s another pile of shit waiting for me in front of the door again right now!

All of this would perhaps be mildly amusing were it not for the fact that my chihuahua is shitting blood. Like many small dogs she gets a condition known as haemorrhagic gastroenteritis if she’s stressed out or eats something she shouldn’t. The first time this happened to her it cost me over $1200 in vet bills to save her life because, yes, this disease can very quickly be deadly. I have now since learned how to limit the damage before it gets to that stage (you start by fasting the dog for a day; then, you switch to a bland diet of chicken and rice) but I’m just incensed that some moron should have inflicted this pain on my dog in the first place (not to mention my floors and nostrils!).

Honestly, sometimes I think I just might buy a gun and shoot at some of my neighbours. It would keep my dogs safe, and it would rid the world of a few morons.

Things Fall Apart

So, I’ve finally worked out the “Mystery of the Chipmunk” i.e. why hundreds of people are being directed to my blog every day when they do a search with the word “chipmunk”. I don’t know if this will work on your computer, but if I do a google image search for “chipmunk”, the second picture that comes up is on my blog – the day I wrote about having an infected wisdom tooth and looking like said rodent.

It’s quite heart-warming really. Even on my old blog when I wrote more about sex work and just sex, in general, I never got so many hits.

So, are you all having a very merry Christmas? My Christmas hasn’t gone, um, exactly to plan.

I was – as you will know if you have been following my posts – supposed to have taken off yesterday for the Midwest with “MM” but, shortly after my blog post two days ago, things fell disastrously apart. I am currently sitting at home and “MM” is with his family over a thousand miles away. It’s not as bad as it seems, though. I have spent more Christmasses alone than I care to remember, and it doesn’t bother me all that much. The worst thing about spending Christmas by yourself is telling people you’re going to spend Christmas by yourself. You get so many pitying glances, and then people feel obligated to invite you to their house because they feel sorry for you…when all you really want is to be left alone! Mercifully this year I was spared that because I didn’t know I would be spending Christmas by myself up until the very last moment.

Of course you will all want to know what happened. Well, the short answer is that I was just too stressed and too broke to be able to leave town for ten days. Of course, it wasn’t like my emotional and financial state was a surprise to me or anything. I mean, I knew I was fucking broke and almost at breaking point but I had decided just to take off anyway even though I hadn’t managed to save a single penny of my rent money. There were also several other bills I would have had to have left unpaid and then, of course, there was the matter of the road trip home. I had no money for that – for gas, and motels etc. – and I also had no money to spend in the Midwest either. Of course, “MM”, as my husband, could have given me some money but as he’s also broke, I would have never heard the end of it. Over the course of our relationship, he’s lent me $3000 (a lot of it is my share of our wedding expenses) and, whenever he’s strapped for cash, he bitches about how his life is so hard because he gave me that money.

I knew, knew, knew all of the above, and I knew even more that I would be horribly stressed out upon my return, scrambing somehow to get money together. It wouldn’t have been a good way to start of 2010 at all, but I thought that it would be worth it because the road trip would be so fun…

And then…something happened…which pushed me over the edge, and I freaked out, and realized I just couldn’t go. I had reached my breaking point, and if I left town I knew all I would do would be worry, worry, worry about money and have a horrible time.

The “something” that happened wasn’t that much of a big deal in itself. It involved my pit bull dog whom I was going to be taking with me for the first time ever (my chihuahua came with me last year, and this was the first time for me to take both my dogs). If I had known how much time, effort, money and hassle it was going to cost me to bring her with me on the plane, I would just have left her in kennels, as I usually do, but, well, hindsight doesn’t help you at the fucking time, does it?

Let me describe to you the saga of the pit bull…

(1) “MM’s” parents agree to allow me to bring my pit bull with me. They weren’t too keen at first, but “MM” persuaded them, and they also remembered how they weren’t keen at all on my bringing my chihuahua last year, but really enjoyed having her around in the end.

(2) Our flights to the Midwest were on Continental, and Continental has banned all pit bulls over six months of age and/or over twenty pounds. Like a small detail like that would deter me, though! I did some research and found out that Staffordshire Bull Terriers were NOT banned, so I decided to pass my dog off as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. (Indeed, for all I or anyone else knows she fucking could be exactly that). A Continental employee confirmed, on the phone, that my dog would be allowed to fly.

(3) Take my dog to the vet for an exam, and to get a health certificate to allow her to fly. Cost – around $150.

(4) Buy a crate and accessories for the crate on Petco’s online website. Cost $150.

(5) Despite buying the crate on November 22nd so that my dog could get acclimatised to it in plenty time before the flight, the fucking thing doesn’t turn up. Fedex said they delivered it on December 1st, but it never arrived.

(6) Spend countless hours on the phone to Petco’s customer service in the Philippines (!!) who are fucking useless. They re-order the crate, and this one is “delivered”, too although it is nowhere to be found.

(7) Spend ages on the phone to Fedex, and finally establish that both crates (the original order and the re-order) had been delivered to the wrong address up the street. And this despite having verified my address with Petco on numerous occasions!

(8) Go to the neighbours’ house where my crate has been delivered, and find it sitting on the lawn. The neighbours appear, looking gormless, and say they sent the first delivery back because they didn’t know who it belonged to. Didn’t it fucking occur to them to ask around their neighbours to find out? I mean, jesus, my house is just diagonally across from theirs. Stupid fucking white Americans. I know nearly all of my African-American neighbours but these white cunts prefer to isolate themselves instead of getting to know those around them. Ugh! I tried talking to them once when they first moved in, and they thought I was a weirdo.

(9) Joyously carry the long-awaited crate home, only to find that it is far too fucking small (not to mention a flimsy piece of shit) for my 39 lb dog – despite being advertised as being good for dogs up to 55 lbs. So what do I do now? Spend around $40 on a taxi taking the damn thing back to store for an exchange? Or call a friend in the hope they won’t mind giving me a ride? Choose the latter option. Thank you, friend!

(10) Finally get the new, better and bigger crate home, and call Continental to book my dog as cargo on the 24th, but now, according to the customer service agent, Staffordshire Bull Terriers ARE banned! I explain, patiently, that they are not, and she must be thinking of “American Staffordshire Terriers” (an entirely different breed) but she refuses to book my dog. She even goes off to check with somebody else, and comes back still insisting they are banned. I ask why the fuck Continental couldn’t have told me this ages ago before I went through all of the above hassle and expense.

(11) Call Continental back the next day to make sure Staffordshire Bull Terriers are truly banned. This time I speak to a manager who tells me the last person told me a load of crap, and that I can indeed bring my dog as long as it says she’s a “Staffordshire Bull Terrier” on her health certificate (it does). Hurrah! Book my dog on the flight.

(12) Minutes after booking the flight, receive a phone call from “MM’s” parents who have just received my Christmas card telling them that I, their son, and my two dogs are looking forward to seeing them. “Two dogs?!”, they say. “We didn’t know you were bringing your pit bull!”. What the fuck do they mean they didn’t know I was bringing it?! I was sitting right beside “MM” several weeks ago when he persuaded them on the phone it would be OK if my dog came. “Oh”, they say, “we’d rather she didn’t come…because we’re scared she’ll hurt our little grand-daughter”. I fucking hate this prejudice against pit bulls but, if they had a problem with my dog, why the fuck couldn’t they just have told me, definitively, that she couldn’t come?!

(13) “MM” answers that question by telling me (as he often does these days) that I am so pushy and aggressive and that I “forced” his parents to let my dog come – all of this despite the fact that I never even once spoke to his parents about my dog coming! He was the one who mentioned it to them. He says I’m selfish and that I make people do things they don’t want to do, and that his parents are so lovely and accommodating that they just wanted to make me happy. Make me fucking happy?! Happy?! I would have been sad if they’d told me my pit bull couldn’t come but I would have accepted that (it’s their goddamn house, after all). How is it making me happy agreeing to something, and then backing out at the last minute after I’ve gone through so much trouble to get my dog on the plane?

(14) Realize now more clearly than ever where “MM” has learned his atrocious communication skills and passive agressive habits. It’s clearly the MO of his family to “make people happy” (because they’re so “lovely” and “accommodating”) when it would be far better not to do something if they’re going to be all resentful all about it, and guilt-trip me.

(15) His parents agree to let my pit bull come after I tell them that I’ve spent so much money and time on her travel arrangements.

(16) On December 23rd (one day before we are due to leave), I get a call from “MM” telling me that his parents have just mentioned to their son, “MM’s younger brother, that my two dogs are coming. He had just informed them that his little daughter, who has bad asthma, and will be spending a lot of time at her grandparents’s house, is horribly allergic to dogs. Whether my pit bulls comes or not, “MM’s” brother knew that I brought my chihuahua last year, and could have assumed I’d be bringing her again this year. Why it didn’t occur to him to mention her allergies to me? Why am I only finding out one day before I am due to leave.

(17) Realize where “MM” got his horribly annoying flaky and thoughtless personality from.

(18) Finally have some sort of mini-nervous breakdown due to stress and decide not to go.

(19) “MM” calls me a selfish bitch (as he often does these days), and says I’ve ruined Christmas for him and his family.

(20) “MM’s” mother tells “MM” that I’m a very selfish person, and “MM” tells me what she said.

(21) I call “MM’s” mother and tell her, in no uncertain terms, that I will not tolerate being called selfish especially when I’ve nearly worked myself into an early grave to be able to afford to come to visit her and her family for the third time in eighteen months (when I haven’t been able to afford to go home to Scotland for 4.5 years!).

(22) Crying! Drama! More crying! Drama! Crying! Crying! Crying! Everybody wants me to come, tells me the dogs can come too, but don’t they realize it’s not about the fucking dogs?! The dog situation was just the last straw. It pushed me over the edge after weeks and weeks of stress and worry. I don’t want to go because, quite simply, I just can’t afford it. “MM” tells me that family is the most important thing in the world to him, and that it breaks his heart, and his mother’s, that I’m not going, but I just don’t get why people who claim to care for me would want me to fall into an emotional and financial abyss just so I can come for Christmas.

Maybe I am selfish. I don’t have a family, so it’s hard for me to understand why people are so attached to theirs, and events like Christmas. However, if being part of a family means going somewhere, being miserable, and spending money I just don’t have to be there, I’d rather be by myself, thank you very much. Anyway, didn’t “MM” tell me it was wrong of me to “force” his parents into letting my pit bull come? If this is the case, then why isn’t it wrong for them to force me to come home when I just don’t want to?

Maybe it’s wrong, but I am so fucking relieved to be at home with my cats and dogs. I love them (they’re my family) and I just can’t describe how wonderful it feels to know that I won’t start off 2010 with a lot of financial stress and money.

Why is this so wrong of me? Is it? I tried my hardest to come, I really did. I worked on my birthday; when I was sick and on many other occasions when I didn’t want to, or was just plain exhausted. Why doesn’t anybody get angry at “MM”, too? I mean, part of this is his “fault”. If he would just finally wake up and smell the coffee and get a fucking proper job instead of working in a café, barely making ends meet (so he can write this graphic novel he never gets around to finishing!), maybe we would have had enough money for this trip. I’m tired of him always harping on about the money I owe him. I don’t want him to support me financially, but it would be good if he could help me out a little bit financially without holding it against me.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from a new Mexican friend of mine who also married an American, and she told me how envious she was of me because I didn’t yet have a work permit. She said that for her those days in the immigration process were a bit boring but that, ultimately, she enjoyed just hanging around all day, watching morning TV, doing yoga, going to cafés etc. Well, lucky bloody her! How nice that she had a husband who could support her!

I’m getting rather tired of “MM’s” constant blaming attitude towards me. I’m always the one at fault; I’m always the “selfish” one. When it suits him, he invokes the ideals of marriage to show how bad I am at compromising (and he may have a point), but I just don’t see why his actions can’t also be described as selfish. Even if he does finish his graphic novel, there’s no guaranntee he’ll make any money at it. He has all these “brilliant ideas” for making money as a visual artist, but I never see him put an effort into any of them. As soon as he’s had one idea, he gets a new one, and then forgets all about the first one.

Why the fuck can’t he just be a teacher? Why the fuck can’t he just get a real job and work on his art in the spare time? That doesn’t mean he couldn’t still be a successful artist, and then give up teaching. “Teaching would take up too much time”, he says. He’d have no time to work on his precious “art” (the art he doesn’t really work on anyway….all he does is obsess over pointless details, and re-draw things again and again, getting nowhere and finishing nothing). Maybe a real fucking job would force him to manage his time better and would teaching really take up too much time? I don’t see how being broke, and being constantly worried about money, frees up much time for creativity. It certainly doesn’t for me.

As for my teaching dreams, according to “MM”, it’s OK for me to be a teacher apparently because I’m more passionate about teaching than him. This is true, but there is also this tacit assumption that I’m the least creative one in this relationship. He doesn’t seem to realize that I don’t really want to be a full-time high school teacher. My ideal life would be to teach, yes, but I would much rather do it part-time, and have the rest of the time for myself, to write and do other creative projects. Maybe one day I’ll get myself into that position but, in the meantime, I will be a full-time teacher because I just don’t see any other way to pay the bills. Why do I have to be the sensible one?

I sometimes wonder if “MM” would be better off single or with a much younger woman who still finds “artistic poverty” romantic and exciting. It’s lucky that I have got no desire whatsoever to have kids for a long time because where would he be if I wanted them soon, even in the next couple of years?! There’s no way in hell we could ever afford kids on his wages. And, oh yeah, a child would be too “time-consuming” and he wouldn’t be able to devote himself to his “art”.

Well, fuck, it’s nearly 4:00 p.m., and I’m tired of ranting. I’m going to go walk my dogs, and then I’ll come home, tuck into my “Tofurky” and watch “Barbarella”.

Hope your Christmas has been merrier than mine!

Wisdom toothless crazy cat lady.

Somehow I have found the motivation to start writing again despite the urge just to sink back down into a pit of lethargy. I wish I could find the desire to write more, but it’s just gone. I’m sure it’ll come back eventually, but right now I have very little to write about. I am horribly uninspired. For this reason, I didn’t do NaNoWriMo. I thought about entering a short story competition this month but I know it’s not going to happen. Somewhere in the deepest darkest depths of my psyche, I’m sure there’s a little voice screaming, “You abject fucking failure!”, but, to be quite frank, I can’t even rouse myself from my lethargy to self-flagellate myself for once.

I know this makes me sound really unhappy, but I’m not really. I wouldn’t say I’m happy (and I’m certainly not content) but I’ve definitely experienced far darker days than this. What I will say is that my days just seem incredibly humdrum. It was, of course, Thanksgiving recently and then it was my birthday, but every single day, whether it’s a day of celebration or not, seems to be exactly the same. They all just blend into each other.

Sometimes I wonder whether I should be concerned that I’m not unhappy. I’m somebody (correction: used to be somebody) who needs (needed) a lot of stimulation, variety and change and yet here I am appparently OK with leading a very narrow, little existence. Besides Midwestern Man, I don’t have any friends. It’s so difficult to build meaningful friendships, as most people here seem to prefer having casual acquaintances. I can’t be bothered having superficial casual chit-chat, so I just stay at home, hanging out with my ever increasing menagerie of cats and dogs and, of course, my husband. On the rare occasions when I do go out, I have fun, but I would have been just as content staying at home with my pets. Is is natural that I’ve become a crazy cat lady, or is this some new kind of depression which has snuck up on me without my realizing it?

On Wednesday, Midwestern Man and I will have our first ever couples counselling session. There is nothing terribly wrong with our relationship, but I do think that we need to learn how to communicate better. And I do wish that our relationship and sex life were more passionate. I miss the days when I would be crazy with lust for a man. I just don’t feel that way for Midwestern Man. I think he’s extremely handsome, but I don’t have the urge to rip his clothes off at all. This worries me but, on the other hand, every time I did want to rip a guy’s clothes off, he was usually a completely unreliable, abusive arsehole. Midwestern Man (who, from now on will be known simply as MM, because it takes too long to type “Midwestern Man” – and, besides, it’s a ridiculous name anyway) makes me feel safe and stable, and I just don’t find that very sexually exciting.

It’s so hard for me to know what a healthy relationship is because I’ve never had one before. My lack of sexual passion for MM could be a glaring sign that we’re not right for each other; or it could be a sign that I’m only sexually attracted to people who are bad for me.

Oh, God, whatever…I’m boring myself here.

Since I last wrote here, I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed and went for my immigration biometrics appointment. The wisdom teeth surgery was far, far easier than I expected. I was sleepy the day of the operation (as a result of the anaesthetic) but I was back to normal the day after. I has absolutely no facial swelling whatsoever, which was a surprise. I almost wished it had been harder to get over because MM took care of me so well, and was so sweet and attentive, that I could easily have lived like that forever!

The immigration biometrics appointment was also a piece of cake. All they do is take your picture and fingerprints. It will get really interesting in February when MM and I will have to go for our immigration interview. Of course, we’ve got nothing to hide, as it’s not like we’re committing visa fraud, but such situations always make me nervous.

That’s all for now, folks. Sweet dreams.

Are my dogs racist?

Simon-4 When I met the woman from Montréal a couple of weeks ago, I was amused when she asked me if my dogs were racist, too. I was amused because it was refreshing for a “person of colour” (God, I hate that term but it’s a convenient way to describe someone of indeterminate racial origin) to bring up race so openly with a white person she’d only just met. If she’d been African-American and I’d been a white American, I don’t think the topic would have arisen so casually.

A black friend of mine from St Vincent, in the Caribbean, was the first person to point out that my dogs barked far more at the African-Americans in my neighbourhood than at the white people. She was half-joking, half-serious, but I dimissed her comment because I just didn’t think it was possible for an animal to be able to distinguish race.

However, I remembered what my friend had said, and I soon began to notice that, yes, oh my God, my dogs do bark far more at African-Americans than at white people! At first I thought it was just coincidence, but then it kept happening again, and again, and again.

Just today Midwestern Man was telling me about how he spent hours sitting outside a café with his own dog, a chow mix, and he didn’t bark at any of the people going in and out..until a black couple showed up, and all hell broke loose. My dogs are exactly the same.

I find this quite embarrassing because I’m a white woman living in a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, which used to be mainly African-American. I feel bad that African-Americans are not only being priced out of the area by white people, but that our dogs are making them feel unwelcome in their own part of town, too! Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but every time my dogs bark at black people I can’t help but think of slavery and the white slave owners who sent dogs off to chase after the scent of escaped slaves.

I have no idea why my dogs appear to have such a dislike of African-Americans but I have several ideas. Could it be that I am uncomfortable around black people, and my dogs have unwittingly picked up on this? Hmmmm, I don’t think so because I purposely moved to this side of town to avoid middle class white Americans and, to be quite frank, I’m pissed off that more and more have followed me over. This place is becoming less diverse by the second, and I’d be pleased if my dogs would chase all the white yuppies away.

Or is that the African-Americans in this town who are nearly all working-class and have grown up in “the hood” have just been exposed to more crazy, dangerous dogs and have therefore learned to be more apprehensive? When I found my pit bull three years ago, I was quite happy to let her come up to me, and pet her with no fear whatsoever. I probably wouldn’t do that now because I’ve seen how many abused and neglected dogs there are on this side of town, and I’d want to make sure the dog was safe before it got too close. Is it possible that my dogs bark more at black people because they just sense the apprehension and fear they learned after years of being exposed to unstable dogs?

It could also be that our dogs (all of whom are so-called dangerous breeds and were strays) were once owned and abused by African-Americans when they were puppies, and now have a fear of them etched into their little doggy memories. I don’t mean to culturally stereotype young, working-class, African-American males, but it is sadly true that they can sometimes be very macho, and like to boost their own masculinity by owning powerful breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, they don’t always take care of their dogs as well as they should, and I’ve seen many living, neglected, in yards, or, worse still, cast out on the streets to fend for themselves.

Whatever the reason, it would be great if my dogs would stop barking at African-Americans as much as they do. Jesus, do I need to take them to doggy diversity training?!

Chance encounter thanks to Cesar Millan

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.

fresh breath

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?