I do not have a miniature schnauzer.
I like animals. A lot. Under the right circumstances, I suspect I have the potential to become what experts call “a collector” but what most of us more descriptively refer to as “the crazy cat lady.” Only you’d have to add some slashes in there with the cat – not slashes like Jack the Ripper or “Jaimie wants to wear a cat suit made out of skin”, but slashes like this: /. As in, “Jaimie has turned into a crazy cat/dog/rabbit/snow leopard lady.”
In general, I am not someone who intentionally collects things. I unintentionally collect things all the time; as I type, there is a small assortment of drink umbrellas in my purse, a large stack of fleece collecting dust in my closet (for the last two years), and package upon package of pretty scrapbooking papers in the junk drawer that I have reappropriated as my “pretty paper bin.” No, I don’t scrapbook. I don’t make anything out of fleece, or even sew all that often. This is precisely what makes these unintentional collections.
The drink umbrellas are for the garden fairies, of course. But then, that was obvious.
To intentionally collect things? This is not for me. I know people who collect things, and they take great pleasure from it. An unsettling number of people in my life collect Precious Moments statues; these dear people invariably want to share the happiness they take from their own little Aryan Nation of bug-eyed Children of the Corn. I’m certain that gift-giving is an early warning sign of apocalyptic doom, specifically because it is in this way that Precious Moments figurines make their escape from the Hallmark store and set up residence in the homes of unsuspecting giftees. As a result, I, too, own several of these ceramic objects. They live in my basement. In boxes. From which it will be much harder for them to mount their attack when they finally come to life, looking to quench a thirst for human blood.
Not that I don’t appreciate these gifts; I do. I see the gesture for what it is – an effort to extend to me the same joy in looking at … and dusting… and looking at… and dusting… that these friends (who have clearly watched far fewer late-80’s horror movies than I) take in their own collections. It’s just all the looking at and dusting that get me. Why would I want to do these things? I have a television, a real live moving picture box, that I can look at whenever I want. It will tell me stories and provide me with opportunities to add to my unintentional collections of cleaning gizmos and steel-reinforced undergarments. Why, then, would I want to look at statues of freakishly proportioned children? They don’t even do anything. And if they did do something, I’d smash them all with my cast iron skillet. So this is a real lose-lose, right here, even before we get to the whole “dusting” part.
(Dear Precious Moments-collecting friends: I love you. I don’t love your scary display cases, but I love you and when those little freaks attack you in your sleep, if you make it out alive, you are always welcome to ride out the apocalypse here.)
Animals are a different story. I could easily see myself collecting a whole menagerie of furry critters, wading through knee-deep drifts of fur, falling asleep with them all piled on my bed, and someday becoming their buffet when I die and no one checks on me for a week. This is where I break ranks from most crazy cat ladies, in that I don’t share the desire to house enormous populations of cats alone. It seems very short-sighted, in this situation, to not maintain a complete food chain. As they say, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Or until the smell gets really bad and someone calls 911.
I also break ranks from the crazy cat ladies in that I am not one. Yet. But the potential is there and given that Nick knows this as well as I do, you’d think he would have thought twice about bringing home a dog – especially a completely adorable miniature schnauzer – “just for tonight.”
Not-Lulu was found wandering, without tags, near our church, where Nick and the kids were attending a Weekly Game Night. I was up to my eyeballs in some thrilling spreadsheets and opted to stay home for the evening, so I got the details later: very sweet little dog, no owner anywhere in sight, and unresponsive Animal Control that never came to pick her up. So Nick said, “Okay, we’ll bring her home with us, just for tonight, and tomorrow we’ll bring her to the shelter.”
Which is where I began to laugh hysterically. Bring her to the shelter? Oh, my. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all year.
There is no way in hell I’m dropping this dog at a shelter.
She has big brown eyes and a short, squat body, and crazy tufts of white fur that stick straight up off her head in weird places. If Albert Einstein and a footstool were to have a baby, it would be this dog. And I love her.
“So…” I said to Nick, “If no one claims her… which I’m sure someone will… and if we were to keep her… which I know we’re not… and if we were to give her a name… which we’re totally not doing… what would it be?”
“Her name is, ‘I don’t live here’,” Nick said.
I thought about it. “Would that be, like, her Indian name? Because in that case, my Indian name is, ‘I don’t drop sweet footstool dogs at kill facilities’.”
Nick doesn’t think I’m very funny.
About ten minutes later I decided that the dog was a good omen. Whether we find her family or not, I had a good feeling about her. “She’s lucky,” I said, opening up the computer. I had an idea. When Google came up, I entered “Chinese for luck.” Upon seeing that the word for “luck” is the decidedly underwhelming fu, I decided to search Chinese synonyms for “luck” instead and discovered “lu,” which means prosperity.
“Her name is Lulu,” I declared.
“Her name is not Lulu,” Nick said.
“You’re right,” I agreed. “Her name is Not-Lulu.”
We were both satisfied. A team player, I am.
(A note, because I know people will be wondering… We took her to the vet when they opened at 7:30 this morning. She does not have a microchip. I’ll be calling all the local shelters today to provide a description and my contact information, and we’ll do everything we can to find her owner. And if we can’t find her owner, she will stay with us. Nick doesn’t know this yet, but that’s okay, he gets over it.)
UPDATE: Not-Lulu’s real name is Carrie. She (along with her new toy, it took us all of 10 minutes to start spoiling her) is back home with her owners, who were very worried and missed her terribly. Goodbye, Not-Lulu!