1.30.2011

Day 10--Pet


I think that most of you know Greta. She's funny, kind of sassy, and sometimes a huge pain in the butt.

Greta is the impulse purchase that has had the greatest impact on my life. In the summer of 2006, I went to TJ Maxx for some retail therapy. I decided on a whim to go to PetSmart and look at cats. I lived alone at the time and thought it might be nice to have something to take care of--I had thrown out my spider-infested plants just a few weeks prior. None of the cats really captured my attention, but a local animal shelter was setting up a display with 4-5 lab puppies, a jack russell terrier, and scruffy brown-eyed furball named Sassy (spoiler alert: Sassy becomes Greta).

I decided to take Sassy for a walk, and she kept looking at me with these huge, brown eyes. An hour later, I walked out of PetSmart with Sassy, dog food, dishes, a leash and collar, a bed, and a whole bunch of toys (spoiler alert: Greta hated all toys and prefered to chew the legs off of several pieces of furniture). .

I spent a day or two pondering names for my new miniature schnauzer (spoiler alert: Greta is not a miniature schnauzer). Since the shelter told me she'd only be 20 pounds at her maximum (spoiler alert: Greta now weighs close to 50 pounds), I thought a really intense-sounding Germanic name might be hilarious. I tried out Brunhilde, Helga, and several other names, but my grandma helped me settle on Greta.

After two days of living with me, I took Greta to the vet for an examination. She had mange, kennel cough, and a mouth full of puppy and adult teeth (see above: Greta prefers chewing furniture). It took several months for the mange to clear up completely through a combination of caustic chemicals and ridiculously expensive dog food and homeopathic medicine (spoiler alert: I was a sucker).

Greta has been with me ever since, giving me filthy looks when I dare pester her with a camera (see below photograph for evidence), snuggling up next to me during the darkest days of depression and anxiety, making me smile with her outrageous excitement over the simplest things, and making everyone laugh with her embarrassing antics (eg, running into a screen door, getting her legs tangled in a blanket and falling off the couch, misjudging the distance to the porch, tripping, burping, etc...). Sure, she can be annoying, rejecting toys I was sure she would love, freaking out about everything (vacuums, dry leaves, belts, hoods, I think you get the idea), but I'm glad I made this particular impulse purchase.


3 comments:

Amina said...

woooow! Maria, I am so afraid of dogs but by reading this post, I can see how Greta is simply amazing!! Now I understand the joys that she brings to your life!!
I loove that picture where she's giving you a side eye

Sarah said...

That picture is fantastic! I can totally see you as a dog person and I'm so glad Greta makes you happy.

Señora H-B said...

Amina--I like to think you wouldn't be afraid of Greta. She's pretty calm and doesn't usually jump all over people. She is a sweetie!

Sarah--Thanks! I'm definitely a dog person. No cats for me! (Unless it were a finicky Siamese that I could name Mr. Burns; I'd call him Burnsie for short.)