Polly don't need no cracker
In the spring of 2004 Alice (my wife) decided she wanted a dog. What kind of dog should it be she wondered. It couldn’t be a large dog, or a dog that sheds, or a dog that makes allergies flare up. There was a lot it couldn’t be. So she went on to the internuts and found a site where she could go through a massive checklist of desirable attributes and answer a bunch of questions about our lifestyle, etc., and ultimately the magic fortune teller would spit out the answer.
A Coton de’ Tulear is what it spat out. A lap dog. A small dog that sounded bigger than it was, had long hair that looked like cotton and concealed its eyes more often than not. It was everything she wanted and promised to have a great personality. It was a very expensive dog for us at the time (or anytime for that matter) and it lived in California. We lived in Virginia. It flew out to us and we anxiously (and worriedly) picked it up at Dulles airport. We stopped at the first spot that had green grass and let little Murphy out of the car to do his business.
He was a hit. Everyone loved him.
Truthfully, he didn’t do much. He was no hunter, and certainly couldn’t be depended on for protection, although he would have done his best I’m sure. He sure wasn’t a working dog, although he might have qualified as a lap dancer. He barked whenever someone came to the door, but would then assault them with kisses once they came inside. He was always playful, inquisitive, and funny. He was easy to house train but not particularly interested in learning tricks. He wasn’t going to be bringing anyone their slippers, but if the trick benefited him (like silently pleading with those puppy eyes for a treat) he wasn’t too proud to participate. While technically (and actually) my wife’s dog, he had room in his little heart for everyone.
For the next 16 years I would never be far from a loyal friend. Ever.