Today is that holiday that’s dedicated to hearts and flowers and while I think most people enjoy it at least a little, at our house, it’s a special day. You see, years ago, Mr. Taleteller and I went on our first date on Valentine’s Day, and right from the beginning, dogs played an important part in our lives. It seems that right from the beginning, the writing was on the wall for us.
When we met, Mr. Taleteller and I were both in college. We both lived with our parents because it made things cheaper for us and we were close enough that it was a feasible option. That meant that neither of us had to live without a dog during our college years.
For me, that dog was a Shetland Sheepdog named Sable. Sable was a particularly high strung girl who did not like anyone outside of our family. When guests came over, Sable often retreated downstairs where my mom and stepdad slept or to my room at the back of the house, or she laid on the couch pressed against my mom’s leg or mine. She was not a fan of strangers and that remained true of her throughout her life.
The night of our first date, Mr. Taleteller arrived and came in to talk to my mom. To my surprise, it wasn’t long before Sable was sitting beside him as he talked with my mom and ignored the dog fur on his pants. By the time we left for dinner, Sable was in his lap giving him kisses and making no pretense of hiding the idea that she was smitten with him.
A few weeks later, it was my turn to meet his family, and that included his five year old brother and their Schnauzer mix named Mimi. It wasn’t long before I’d made friends with both of them, and I’m pretty sure that in the first year we were dating, we never sat together on the couch at their house. If his little brother wasn’t sitting between us, then Mimi was, usually insisting that I scratch her back.
When we got married, it was the first time either of us had lived without a dog in our lives for long. The apartment we lived in didn’t allow dogs, although we did have a little Maine Coon cat named Scamp who was like having a dog in a cat’s body. Within a month, we were looking for a dog of our own, and that was how we came to adopt our first Greyhound, Treat.
I know that a lot of people wouldn’t consider a person if their dog or cat didn’t like that person. I’m not sure that it was that important for us initially, because neither of us could take the family dog with us when we left home. I think what was important for us was that the other person have similar interests and beliefs, and part of that was a love of dogs. What started out as puppy love blossomed into a life together beyond what we could have imagined. I consider myself the luckiest girl alive and it all started for us on Valentine’s Day. Tonight, we’ll give the dogs a few extra treats to celebrate the day and be glad that a love of dogs brought us together.