I like dogs don't get me wrong.  Mitzi was one of our dogs we had when I was growing up.  She was a Norwegian Elkhound.  Why we ended up with that breed of dog only my parents would know.  She had beautiful thick fur and a tail that actually curled upwards and inward to her back.  She was kind, loved to chase kids and cars and would steal a hot dog you were eating right out of your hand.  She was also a big old chicken if it thundered and lightened. Mitzi would cower outside the back door and cry until you let her inside and down in our old yucky unfinished basement at the first crack of thunder.  That is the only time my father would let her in the house.  She was purely an outdoors kind of dog.

I love Fenley, my daughter and son-in-law's pure bred Papillon.  They named him after combing each of their favorite baseball teams stadium name - Fenway Park (Brandon's home base is the east coast) and Wrigley Field (Hannah's father gave her a love of the Cubs).  Fenly is a creative cute name that fits this overly cute and intelligent dog that I still call "come puppy"  because he is small. 

Fenley actually stayed with Doug and I for three and a half months while the kids did their first stint in Africa helping nationals start small businesses.  I have never had an indoor dog, and Fen is ONLY an inside dog. Since I have some major OCD germophobic and cleanliness issues that took some getting used to.  Amazingly enough, I survived it, got over it, and then eventually grew so attached to that little guy that I didn't want to give him back when they returned.  I still miss him to this day.

When they came to pick him up after being away for some months Fenley was sporting smudges of lipstick on his neck.  I held and kissed that damn dog a lot.  I had become what I made fun of in other people - a bit of a this-dog-is-my-baby kind of thing. [ugh]   My daughter laughed at the lipstick stains on Fenley's white fur and how well groomed he was. 

Recently coming to live in the southwest I was caught a bit off guard with dog culture here.  It is crazy, crazy, crazy!  Everyone seems to have a dog, two dogs, three dogs or more. The dog oddity thing doesn't stop there. Dogs are routinely seen in public places; grocery stores, Kohls department store, outdoor concerts, Target, in restaurants.

The first time this phenomena smacked me in the eye was in the check out lane at Kohls.  Quite a bit caught off guard I asked the cashier were dogs allowed.  She readily responded, YES.  We had a whole conversation about how in the Midwest people don't take dogs into restaurants and stores unless it is an assistive animal.  She assured me that the west was a bit more loose and free with those sorts of things than the Midwest.  She was indeed correct!

Doug and I were at dinner recently.  We chose to sit outside in the patio area as it was a beautiful Arizona night.  In that patio seating area of about 6 tables three had dogs laying about at their feet.  At an outdoor concert last weekend, while sitting on the courthouse makeshift step bleachers, we were surrounded by owners and their dogs.  They were everywhere.

My husband has been bit several times in his life by dogs.  He has an arm's length skeptical view of most dogs, barring Fenley that is.  This strange dog culture though has made him realize that the vast majority of dogs are good, well-controlled and like to shop at Kohls.

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