Long before we had two-legged children, Marshall and I had our furry, four-legged children.
Marcel and Oscar were my first 'babies.' The first things I was solely responsible for. Kind of like in the Sandra Bullock movie 28 Days where her friend is told to get a plant, then a dog, then he could look for love - but only if he could sustain the plant and dog first.
Many couples have a dog before children, either by design or just as it happens. When I moved into my first apartment - by myself - my parents said I had to get a dog. My apartment was a whopping 490 square feet, so I knew I needed something small. I sought out to get a female mini-poodle. I came home with Marcel - a male long-haired chihuahua. He was so tiny and cute. I loved him.
About 18 months later I felt Marcel needed a sibling. So the roommates I had accrued that year went with me to meet another chihuahua breeder. We came home with Oscar who promptly ate my favorite Greek blanket and actually pulled paint off the apartment wall. He has never calmed down.
I have to say that the two dogs were a great way to build into having children. Marcel and SB are very much alike - calm but loving, happy. Oscar and Mac are alike - very active and cuddly (and also happy). However, Oscar and SB are more homebodies - they would never wander off. If Marcel were to get loose we would never see him again, and Mac would wander as well if given the chance.
Marcel just turned 12 last week. Oscar is about 10.5 years old. Chihauhuas live anywhere from 12-15 years, so knowing that they are in their twilight years saddens me. Marcel is mostly deaf and blind. Oscar chews his fur off his backside.
I love my FurKids. They have been with me my entire adult life. They have endured my getting married, moving many times, bringing home these little humans who have usurped their position...They're just a wonderful part of my life.