What happens when cat person gets a dog?

Department of complaints.
June 14 2002 10:35 AM

A Cat Person Gets a Dog

It doesn't purr. It doesn't clean itself. It eats bras. ...

(Continued from Page 1)

It was at a shelter that we encountered our first beagle, a sweet, tiny creature who had been found wandering. We put in a request for it, but the owner retrieved it. We had now been programmed for beagle ownership, so we discovered a local group that finds new homes for mistreated beagles and went to its adoption fair.

Advertisement

There's something about being surrounded by roomful of abandoned creatures that makes you realize you'd adopt a wart hog under the right circumstances. When my daughter saw shy, scrawny Sasha (then known as Conchita), I knew I was headed for years of late-night walks.

Sasha has lived up to the one promise the head of the rescue organization made about her: She was completely unhousebroken. OK, we've gotten over that misery. But when we took her to the first session of our six-week dog-training course, I had one of many cat-person-with-a-dog sinking spells when the instructor explained how dog training was a lifelong process. All I could think of was the process of training our cats: "Fellas, here's your litter box." End of training.

Walking a dog has been a revelation. Who knew so many of my neighbors, most of whom I'd never seen before, owned dogs? It was like discovering that at 11 every night, people all around me were running out to go ballroom dancing or attend Communist Party meetings. There is also a strange etiquette to dog-owning: We don't introduce ourselves, just our dogs. So Sasha knows Pundit and Woody and Linus, but I have no idea who their owners are. When you walk a beagle, you also find out about half the population used to have a beagle when they were kids. Which makes me worry that a message went out about 30 years ago—"Don't get another beagle!"—that I somehow missed.

So now I'm a dog owner. Given that Sasha was a year old when we got her, I only have 14 or so more years of late nights to go. I have to admit she's wormed her way into my heart (although not while I was giving her de-worming medication). I even forgive her for eating the phone charger, the entire family's slippers, and my favorite bra. (No, I wasn't wearing it at the time.) As I was writing this, she crawled under my desk so I could rest my feet on her. If only she could purr.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.