When I was a kid, we used to go to the North Shore every summer for my birthday. To celebrate the day, Margot made some kind of a cake in a bundt pan (When I got older, because she hates to bake and I love it, I baked my own cake). My dad made Dutch Babies with lemon juice and powdered sugar for breakfast. I got to bring a friend, who for many years, was Emma, my red-headed friend who lived in Finnlayson, MN. We reconnected every year, city mouse and country mouse, sharing a bed in a cabin, and exploring the rocky shores of Lake Superior together. We even "swam" in the lake, although this activity was reserved for extremely hot days, because the water of Lake Superior never rises above 50 degrees. You lose feeling in your feet before you gain the courage to dunk your head. Once you've gone under, you dash back to shore. If there isn't a warm rock baking in the sun for you to sprawl upon when you get out, it could be days before the blood starts circulating again.
This year, my friend was Buddy, the dog. Emma and I have lost touch, and besides, he needs a dog sitter when I'm gone if he doesn't get to come along. And so we drove up in my dad's car, just like Emma and I used to do. Buddy rode in the back, quietly. Buddy curls up in the car, and only sits up to look around when we slow down. Otherwise, he relaxes and enjoys the ride.
I realized, midway through the trip, as Margot and my dad adopted Buddy into our small family cabin lifestyle, that, really, I have a bit too much love for the beast. I'm a little too worried that he will endear himself to our companions when we travel together. I sleep with one eye open for the dog. Is he sleeping? Is he getting into trouble? Is he worried? Does he need me?
So, then, this is what happens when a single woman gets a dog. He becomes a lover and a child all wrapped up in too much fur. Oh, well, at least he's not a cat. At least (small blessing counted) I haven't become a Cat Lady. No. I've just spent the weekend excusing my dog's farts to two people who were kind enough to allow their love for me to help them decide to let him sleep in their cabin, but at least I haven't become a Cat Lady.