Lola aka the Diva
I’m a cat person. I’ve had cats my entire life. I even think of myself as part feline—independent, moody, and only liking to be touched when I feel like being touched, much like a cat. Cats are low-maintenance pets, imo. You can leave a few bowls filled with food, access to water, and take off for a week without having to worry about Monsieur Chat. They’re like a great wash-and-go haircut.
I’m living proof of what happens when you don’t listen to your intuition. For a year, my son bugged me for a dog. Not just any dog—a Chihuahua. “Absolutely not!” I told him. “Chihuahuas aren’t kid dogs; they’re mean, yappy, and not even considered real dogs. A real dog is a Lab or a Collie. Chihuahuas are simply accessories for rich folks to dress up in tutus and carry under their arm like a football.”
The movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua must have made an indelible impression upon him, because his stubborn mind was set on a Chihuahua. Every week we visited the animal shelter, which was filled with nothing but Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas. On the rare occasion there happened to be a Lab mix, I had the volunteers pull the poor dog out and weigh him. (My complex only allows dogs 40 lbs. and under.) “Nope, this one’s 45,” they’d say. “Sorry, he weighed in at 48.”
Then one bright, sunny day in August, my son and I went to the shelter and stepped into the section for large dogs. There in a cage, all by her lonesome was the prettiest little Chestnut-brown Chihuahua, with fur so shiny it looked like it had been polished with lemon Pledge. And she wasn’t barking. A Chihuahua that wasn’t barking? Unbelievable! While all the dogs around her were furiously barking their heads off at us, this one simply strolled over and started licking our fingers through the bars.
SOLD! I named her Lola after the song by The Kinks, because she was sexually ambiguous. Her female part looked suspiciously like a male part, and she humped the cat, so I thought they had made a mistake about her sex. I also discovered she wasn’t potty-trained. And that she didn’t particularly like children, and she really didn’t like men, and she barked. A lot. And she chased cats, and kids on bikes, and kids on skateboards. And she’d grab your bacon when you weren’t looking. Or your sandwich. Or chicken leg. Oh, and did I mention she barks? A lot.
As soon as my son realized Lola didn’t appreciate when he tried to wrestle with her, it became his purpose in life to try and wrestle with her every chance he got. Which further served to reinforce my reasoning to only give birth to one child.
No matter how many speeches I gave my son beforehand about how the dog was to be HIS responsibility, including feeding and walking it, they got filed away in the folder entitled, “Worthless Mom speeches to wholeheartedly agree with, and then promptly forget.”
Having a dog is like having another toddler all over again. Privacy? Forget it. Remember when your kids were that age and you tried to get a minute alone in the bathroom, only to see tiny fingers creep under the door three seconds later? This dog follows me like paparazzi trying to get a picture of Suri doing normal kid things. She HAS to be in the same room as me or she’ll have an anxiety attack. If I leave for a moment to take out the trash, you’d think I’d been gone for several weeks.
It’s been three years since Lola joined our family. She sleeps with me every night, curled up by my side. I call her the Diva because she doesn’t like to go out in the rain, or when it’s too hot, or too cold. But I’ve bought her a raincoat, and a pink fuzzy sweater, and a red velour dress that she wears every Christmas. I even dress her in Halloween costumes. I love her to death, which is a good thing considering I’m probably stuck with her for the next twenty years.
For the record, I’m still a cat person.