We were always cat people. I grew up amongst felines and had listened to my mother’s diatribes against dogs for my entire life. The diatribes usually involved cleanliness issues; dirty, smelly and they leave “dog stuff” in the yard. Cats, in comparison, cleaned themselves and buried their stuff. Cats going to the bathroom was referred to as “the kitty is going to dig a hole”; my mother coping with being Southern by euphemism. My husband had a cat when we married; Lauren, a chatty Siamese Calico mix, who vocalized happiness with a “Mow” and distaste with “Rhentt”.
One day my husband and I were at the pet store and met several retired racing Greyhounds and fell in love. We decided to get a dog.
We ended up with a red brindle male with the dubious racing name “Fonda Canyon” and promptly decided he needed a new name. We went round and round about the name until I finally talked my husband, the Trekkie, into Butler. Butler was named after Captain Kirk’s dog in the Star Trek movie “The Undiscovered Country”. Captain Kirk’s Butler was a Great Dane.
Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta “cat tests” their dogs to be sure new owners cats aren’t mistaken for the track rabbits. We eventually established Kitty Detente, after numerous “Rhenntts” from the cat and a few scratches on the muzzle the dog passed his cat test. They became friends and would sit on the furniture together. Butler lounging on his back with the cat beside him. Fortunately, we had a Chair and a half with a washable slipcover that would accommodate both of them. Of course they preferred the dry clean only sofa.
We began house training. Or, Butler began human training. I had this strange idea I could get up in the morning and let the dog out and he would do his business in the backyard. Not this dog. He would hold it until somebody put a leash on him and walked him around the neighborhood to see who else had been around. Unless you left him in the house which was usually not a good idea. I eventually began to enjoy the walk around the neighborhood and met numerous fellow dog lovers that way.
Butler was a charming and handsome dog. Kids would stop to meet him and say he looked just like a tiger. A skinny canine tiger, I guess. He was a dog who never met a stranger and wanted to meet everyone he encountered, especially those who had no interest in him at all. My mother, the dog hating Southern Belle, succumbed to his charms almost immediately and always called him “Rhett Butlah” and gave him treats (many treats)
Eventually I realized I was more of a dog person. My conversion is highly related to litter box issues and the feline need to achieve Kitty Superiority. Our cats all passed on and we ended up with two Greyhounds. Twenty years have passed and we still have two Greyhounds, just not the same ones.
Here is Butler in his favorite spot.