I have many guilty pleasures. Smoking, drinking, dancing. But, there is one that I seldom talk about. It’s one that is so guilty that makes me ooze just thinking about it.
I love to wake up first. I like to be the first one to make it out of that dream state, alive. I like the silence. But, then, it becomes too silent. And I know better than to wake the slumbering bed-mate. No. One must never do that. Instead, I wake the dog.
Now, about this dog. First, I have to tell you that I never envisioned myself with a small dog. Let alone a hairless wonder from China. I was more a Rottweiler kind of girl. Not for the aggression factor, but because they were formidable wrestling opponents and great huggers. Unfortunately, hugs always turned into humps, but a swift kick in the nads settled those big boys down. And, back to wrestling.
The first time I saw a Chinese Crested was on television. It was the Purina Westminster Abbey Dog Pageant of America, or some shit. And I just about died laughing when this real life My Little Pony trotted down the runway. I envisioned myself walking down Lincoln Road with this ridiculous thing on a leash and for a moment, I wanted one. Just for a moment.
Many months later, I was reading the Sunday newspaper and found an ad for two Chinese Crested puppies in Homestead. And just a few hours after that, I was on the floor of a stranger’s house holding a rat to my chest, claiming it to be mine.
That was almost nine years ago.
Chilli is the first dog to ever sleep in my bed. And, she will be the last. Not because it’s inherently gross. Or because she waits, although quietly, eerily on the floor at the foot of the bed until Mommy’s private time is over. Which is never that private, when you can still see a pair of ears perked up from any angle. No. None of that matters, really. It’s really because of this one guilty pleasure. Of waking her up, so her and I can be the first ones, in the silence of the morning, to give each other a hug. Well, a little hug.