But I Fell In Love Anyway
1998 Pi Arthur Stuart

I like to think of myself as a macho-man and therefore I must like manly things such as fast cars, sports, dangerous adventures and big dogs, the bigger the better. So one evening when my wife came home with a Chihuahua, about the size of a domestic rat, I cringed, closed my eyes, tilted my head back and thought, but kept it to myself, "Oh crap, what are we going to do with IT?"

She had found It abandoned in a shopping center, wandering around in a terrified state; I could kill people that do things like this. We already had four dogs a big German Shepherd (my dog), two medium sized and one small critter -- they belonged to the rest of the family -- but no itsy-bitsy tiny ones.

All I could imagine was what a pain in the bottom this tiny unmanly creature was going to be. I expected the other dogs to pick on It or eat It, but was surprised, they adopted her into the pack rather quickly and were very gentle. Maybe one of our four cats would get It. That didn't happen either. On top of her insignificant size, It was a Chihuahua and that carries with it the reputation of being finicky, delicate, shy and difficult to deal with. Gee! I guess she was just like any other female.

My wife checked the papers and looked for notices to see if anyone had lost It, I was hoping that someone would want to claim It and couldn't believe that she was just dumped. I suggested to my wife that she take the thing to the animal shelter where I believed that some dainty-frilly little girl would fall in love with It and they would live happily ever after. Despite all my desires she was made part of the family and was named Nikki. I was disappointed and all set to live my life in utter disgust but I fell in love anyway.

It's hard to explain why I fell in love with her. It's the age old question, "Why does anyone fall in love?" It could have been Nikki's antics when she wants attention. Like, when I'm sitting at my computer, she will stand on her hind legs and hit me with both of her front paws, simultaneously, until I allow her to jump into my lap. There she curls up and goes to sleep while I work away. Perhaps, it's the way she gets next to me while I watch television and puts her chin on my leg. It could be the way she attacks my hand while it's under the bed covers. Or maybe, it's just a myriad things she does like every other dog -- that as her guardian I found special.

Maybe I'm really just a softy type macho-man. Nikki turned out to be very outgoing, friendly and lovable. She, like so many of us, needed a home, security and love. Nikki is more like a small child, than a pet.

What surprises me most is how one's own misconceptions can get in the way of accepting things. I don't know the definitive reasons I came to love Nikki; suffice it to say I was wrong about my expectations and beliefs. I'm glad I was able to overcome them or I would have been missing a lot of good stuff.

The point is, if we can get our biases and preconceived notions out of the way, and be more open, we may find some really great and wonderful things that abound in this world.



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