The Heart Grows Fonder

Jessie: In New Hampshire where the weather has been whacky of late.

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to transformation. It happens every year at just about this time. The new year and a spate of family birthdays seem to bring it on. What has brought it into sharp relief this year was a trip to a nearby Marshall’s. All my life I have had a list of allergies as long as one of my arms. They range from plants to molds to foods to animals. The animals include dogs. But through a tangled series of events, about four and a half years ago I ended up with a poodle named Sam as my constant companion.

I never really thought of myself as a dog person. Those of you who know me from before Sam swept into my life can attest to that. I still do not like every dog I meet, am still allergic to most of them, and cannot imagine making peace with shedded fur coating my wardrobe or my house. That said, my heart, towards one dog at least, has grown very, very fond. This brings me back to the Marshall’s.

Last week I spotted a black and red sweater on a display rack, a small accessory sort of thing clipped to it by a plastic fastener. My heart sped up in my chest as I realized that the thing was a matching dog sweater. It was as if I was having an out-of-body experience. I watched myself move swiftly through the racks looking for the perfect combination of human and dog sweater sizes. Some were the wrong size for me. All were too small for Sam. I put one in the cart anyway and told myself that it wouldn’t make much difference if the dog sweater didn’t quite reach his rump.

I wandered the store for a bit before heading for the dressing room to try the human garment on for myself. The utter horror of its fit, with its mock turtleneck and dropped shoulders, was enough to bring me back to my senses. I slipped it onto the rack at the entrance to the fitting room without a backward glance.

That being said, when I returned home I headed straight for my knitting stash and pulled out an extra skein of red wool that just happens to match a sweater I finished up for myself last spring. Conveniently enough I had knitted it for the very purpose of wearing it under my coat on the coldest of days to walk Sam. It is warm and lovely and I am quite sure a matching one will look ever so good on my faithful little friend too! Please excuse me while I get back to my knitting!

Readers, have you ever been surprised at something, or someone that you have grown fond of?

23 Thoughts

  1. Of course you can do better with a matching knitted garment for each of you than some factory can, Jessie!

    Last week on my younger son’s 34th birthday, I told him the following: When I was pregnant with him, I worried – a lot – about how I could love another child as much as I loved my darling Allan, then 2 1/2. After John David was born, I realized the love just expands. Of course I could be as crazy fond of my baby as I was of my toddler. There’s always enough love.

    1. “The only prayer you will ever need. There is always enough love” Lynn Ungar in her poem “Safe Passage”. The poem is about having a child. Thank you, Edith, for reminding me.

  2. Although I love all critters, I’d never thought of myself as a cat person. Growing up we’d always had dogs. My Mom’s reasoning was cats get up the kitchen counters – something she won’t stand for. However, years ago Hubby and I became friends with a couple that we have so much in common that it’s like looking in a mirror at times. While we had a dog, they had a cat. Both critters seemed to be laid back. On their first visit (they live in another state), they brought their cat with the idea of boarding it in town. After thinking about it and talking it over with hubby, we told them to bring it on to the house. If the two didn’t get along, they could always take it into town. Well, not only did they get along like besties, I learned that like all critters they have to be taught what to do and not do. Although we don’t have a cat, I am now godparent to one who would be welcome into our home with or without his human family. Shows that you can teach an old dog (or human) new tricks.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I love this story! Thank you for sharing. It’s a bit similar to mine. I’d never had a dog growing up, and I too was rather coerced into getting our dog, Rosy, a beagle … by my daughter and husband who dragged us all to BeagleFest in Tempe, a 3-day festival. (Who knew?) The Beagle Rescue people saw us coming … and handed Julia a leash, and the rest is history. I came to love Rosy so very much, my constant companion on hikes and walks and in my office as I wrote. She passed in July at 18 years old, and we had her for 13 of those. She was such a gift to us. Anyway, that was my fall-in-love-with-a-dog story. And I’m knitting too, these days — a hat! Julia taught me how to do cables over Christmas break. 🙂 Stay warm!

    1. This is similar to my story. Only it was a cocker spaniel. Our golden had died the year before and my daughter in middle school trained her big brown eyes on her dad and said, “But the house is so empty when I get home.” “These kids are going to go off to college and you and I will be stuck rushing home from work to walk a dog,” is what I said to my husband. Those two went off to the rescue and came back with the cocker (after the home study–we didn’t have one of those to bring our kids home). My son, a junior in high school called the dog, affectionately, “Not my dog,” for two years. But we were all seduced. The kids did go off to college and we did have to rush home from work to walk the dog. And it was fine.

  4. I remember a surprise that my family had when I was about 18 and still living at home. My parents won a microwave oven. Microwave ovens were a relatively new invention at that time. (Hard to believe now, I know!) They were not very excited about it, but we all began using it and quickly became dependent upon it! Now just about everybody has one, right?

  5. Like you, I’m not much of a dog person. Thanks for allergies, I’ve never been super comfortable around them. But at times, I have grown very fond of dogs that I’ve been able to spend much time around.

  6. Well, the thing is that you can overcome your allergies to dogs and cats by being around them. I took allergy shots for 20 years until Covid stopped me (and the allergist said they would not work after 12 years, but they did). After Covid, I would have to start over and decided to live without that at my age. Surprisingly enough I no longer have problems with dogs or cats. We have had dogs since 1982 and I babysit neighbors’ cats and had no problem. And to one comment above, the house is too lonely without a pet in your life and your home. It is empty.

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