When I was young, I wasn't one of those horse girls. That was just too typical. My fantasy pet was a giraffe that I could feed by hand out the second story window of my childhood home. I could picture it perfectly, and I still can today. Because what is a giraffe but a horse with a fancy paint job and an extra long neck? This over-dramatic, prepubescent, angsty and artsy young girl's dream.
In my household, we always had at least one dog and one cat, with the occasional lizard, goldfish, or bird. We are a tribe of devout animal lovers, every pet with it's barrage of nicknames and special voices used only for that animal, every pet a family member. The nightly prayer of "Now I lay me down to sleep..." always contained a wholehearted "bless Sassy and Ping Pong and Fishy Sal." in the list of persons we kept in our hearts at all time. This may not be unique, but it has definitely shaped me into the kind of gal who prefers animal company over people most days. And after a year or so of living mostly out of a suitcase, mostly dogless and catless, responsible for noone but my sad self, I bit the bullet and adopted a tiny dog. Formerly a death row inmate in the City of Angels, she is now glued to my feet, following me from one room to another, learning how to piss and shit outside, enjoying her gourmet hand prepared meals, helping me remember the simplest moments of joy in that divine companionship only an animal can provide.