Friday, February 10, 2012

It's OK, I admit it, I'm the crazy dog lady

Daily News Column for 2-10-12

My grandmother has Facebook.

While that may not be such a shock to some, it helps if you know the woman.

Fed up with Grandpa always having first dibs at the latest photos, video and life updates of our family, the woman who had never used anything more technologically advanced than a flip phone decided she would use a computer for the first time to learn the operations of Facebook.

Following a few brief posting problems and message mishaps, miraculously, she managed to master the basics and only required a few troubleshooting sessions – although sometimes I think she just used it as an excuse to call.

So a few weeks ago, when the dinosaur of a Powerbook she was using – still solely for Facebook – crashed, we each got a bit behind on the others life details.

Finally managing to talk Grandpa into getting her a new computer, she was up and running as if she’d never missed a day in Facebook world at all.

After announcing her return for all to see, she initiated a chat session with me. Can’t say I ever saw that coming, but I couldn’t be prouder.

There I was typing the next big news story, catching up on “The Big Bang Theory” and having a conversation with my grandma, who was five hours away, all at the same time. It was fabulous.
But when she shared some unsettling news via cyberspace, things got a bit deeper than I think Mark Zuckerberg or even Jeeves prepared for.

“Stella’s dad got ran over and killed a few days ago,” she typed.

Being the dedicated – some say crazy – dog owner that I am, the news was a shocker.

Let me be clear. For those of you who do not know, Stella is the 9-pound love of my life, princess of my house Shih-Tzu.

In fact, without my grandma and grandpa, she would be none of those.

Growing up, their house was always full of the little furballs, so it was only fitting that when I moved into a place of my own I got one too. Enter Stella, the puppy of their beloved pet.

Though I don’t know much about the male counterpart to Stella’s existence, or his owners, I do know that if it weren’t for the same stubbornness that got my grandmother to learn Facebook, Stella would have been theirs.

Since meeting her doggy daddy’s acquaintance, the poor pooch suffered a nearly fatal attack with another, much larger, dog. As if that wasn’t enough to make me oh-so grateful at the way our situation panned out, Grandma’s latest message sure was.

For those of you who understand the love, joy, companionship and comfort dog ownership brings, you know what I’m trying to say, and that is how I not only owe my grandparents an incredibly large thank you for giving me the gift of the best dog a girl could get, but for allowing me to make sure she had the best life she could get.

In my lap as I write this, I try not to imagine what her fate would have been had she gone as the pick of the litter to live with her dad and his owners. And I don’t imagine my life without her in it.

Dogs are wonderful creatures and if you have the chance, and the heart, I highly suggest you allow one to change life as you know it. There are plenty who live unimaginable lives and are just waiting for home with love and lots of treats.

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