So, I was totally in love with Bill Bixby when I was a little girl. Every time I saw him on TV, particularly in the “Incredible Hulk,” I would envision our wedding and him giving me a smooch at the alter. Sigh. 🙂 For those of us of a certain age (cough cough), we might remember the show he was in called “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” Aside from the acting, the theme song was the best part of it!
“People let me tell you ’bout my best friend,
He’s a warm hearted person who’ll love me till the end.
People let me tell you ’bout my best friend,
He’s a one boy cuddly toy, my, my down, my pride and joy…” ~ Harry Nilsson
Well, I actually have an Eddie in my own house, who just happens to be my best friend. I didn’t meet this friend at school or while out and about, but instead, I rescued him 3 years ago this month! And I’m so glad I did!
My little Dottie, a 14 year old toy poodle, is also a best friend of mine. Dottie and I have been through so much together…2 divorces, death, a breakdown, etc. and she has been with me longer than any other dog I’ve had. Now, this is where I say how loving and sweet she is. Right? Well…hmmmm.
Those of us who love Dot, we know her to be a feisty, slightly aloof, fickle, little shit who is mostly out for #1. BUT, her personality is HUGE and I’ve never had a dog as complicated and uniquely ‘her’ as she is. It’s like she’s saying to the world, “Here I am! I’m adorable…accept me for who I am or back off!” I absolutely love her! She actually reminds me of me (in terms of attitude), more than I’d like to admit! Her face melts my heart every single time I look at her, and the thought of losing her makes me choke up so much. Hers my baby.
But now Edward, he’s completely a different type. Poor Eddie’s litter was dumped along a highway when he was just a few weeks old (why in fucks sake don’t people get their dogs neutered and spayed??) and the pups were taken to a shelter in a nearby city. I was on the list for adoption since I had been wanting another dog, and was called in. I was told by the rescue that the vet who gave the pups their first shots was convinced they were ‘chiweenies.’ Chihuahua and Daschaund mixes that would grow up to be about 10-12 pounds or so. This was perfect! Little Dot is 10 pounds and I wanted them to be about the same size. So, I trotted up to the rescue, and Ed was the only pup left. It was pathetic, he was just sitting there, all by himself. After holding him, I decided to adopt, and instead of taking a lot of time with me, the rescue worker had me sign the papers, took my money, and scooted me out the door in minutes flat. Hmmm.
We went to a petshop next, and I picked out he cutest little things for him. Little tees, a little collar, a little leash…I think you get my drift. Next stop was Arby’s where I got my usual roast beef sandwich, and I gave Eddie a couple nibbles since I didn’t know when the last time he ate was. He gobbled them up, and then went for my sandwich, of which he ate half. Then, halfway home, he needed to poop, and to be honest, it was quite impressive. At least half of his body weight.
Anyhoot, got him home, introduced him to Dot (who made it perfectly clear to him who was boss…after all, she is my boss too) and got down to getting to know him. He slept in his little crate (see the theme?) until one morning I went to let him out, and he was hunched over. Hmmm. The crate was, after all, for the SMALL dog I got. So, I trotted off to the store, and bought a medium crate. I was sure there would be a lot of wasted space, but what can you do? They don’t come in half sizes. (Not to self: idea for Shark Tank?). A couple of weeks later, I staggered in after he started to whimper, and again, he was hunched over. What the fuck? Long story short, my Edward is a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Coon Hound mix and weighs a whopping 30 pounds. Yep. Chiweenie my ass. Obviously, the rescue wasn’t REALLY sure of the mix. In fact, in hindsight after being hurried along before I could have 2nd thoughts, and not getting ANY follow-up calls as I was told I would receive, I realized I had most likely been the victim of the old Bait and Switch.
And thank God I had. Edward is not the brightest dog out there (which is really tough since Dottie is smart as a fox!) but he is the most loving, affectionate, needy, sensitive dog I’ve ever had. I got Edward a few months before what was to be my breakdown and I think that was for a reason. Eddie is so much like me. He’s a hugger…a cuddler…a sweet old soul who just wants to give and give and give. He wants to always be by my side…in my lap (did I mention he’s 30 pounds??) leaning against me…putting his cheek against mine. And when I cry? He’s right there to put his head on my shoulder and hug me. Edward asks for nothing from me. Except love. And guess what? I have plenty to give him.
Now, everyone know Dottie is the dog I’ll always remember as being the one who really got under my skin (in a good way!) more than any other dog, but she’s not affectionate. She’ll cuddle. But just for a minute. She’ll allow you to pet her. But just for a minute. She’ll let you rub her little ears. But lets all say it: just for a minute.
And when she’s done, she’ll either walk away in a diva like fashion, or give a little snarl. In fact, Dottie has been kicked out of 3 grooming parlors. Yep. Three. And the woman who has groomed Dottie now for most of her life is tipped by me VERY well for what she has to go through. AND, I told her I would give her half my salary before I’d let her retire. If she ever did, poor little Dot would probably never get groomed again.
Eddie is the opposite. He’s the first dog that gives as much…or actually more…than he receives. Do ya’ll know that the Greeks talked about different categories of love? (Actually, I think there’s a commercial right now that uses that info.). Anyhoot, Eddie is the epitome of agape love. Selfless, unconditional, and given with no agenda. No idea of what might be given in return. Just given for the sake of giving. With Edward, I can vent, cry, hug, and cuddle, knowing he’s there for me and will do all he can to make things better. And he does. He truly does.
I think what it boils down to is this: Ed is the first ‘man’ in my life that has the capacity to give as much as I do. That’s as needy for affection as I am. That wants to fix and help as much as I desire too. Where others see a gangly, dumb(ish), annoying dog, I see my best friend. The one I’ve been waiting for all of my life.