Sunday, August 06, 2006


Well, today I make good on my full introduction to Page, my pet dog. She came very close to being the mascot within my blog, but such was not to be. Let’s face it. The irony of a dog mascot would have been great in a blog named “The Wildcat’s Lair.” Still, Page suffers one major fault that would hurt her place in the limelight. She hates having her picture taken.

This past Friday, Page made her comic strip debut in Frank’s many adventures, and it’s not by chance that she makes that appearance while underneath the bed in my bedroom. This spot happens to be her favorite place, I think. At night, she crawls under the bed and curls up to sleep. She’ll do this during the day, too. As it happens, Page also loves to nap on my daughter’s bed during the day, but this is only if the kids aren’t in the house. Otherwise, my six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son will pester her mercilessly. To get the picture of Page on my daughter’s bed required something of an ambush. I might add, Page was not pleased with me when the flash went off. Making it up to her required ample amounts of petting and spoken endearments such as “Good dog!”

There has been at least one time in which Page proved herself a willing model. I had been taking pictures for one of Frank’s comic strips, so I had the camera out. Page walked over, sat down at the corner of the desk and started pawing at my arm that happened to be holding the camera. At first, I thought she simply wanted me to pet her, but she became more insistent. Sure enough, I raised the camera for a picture, and she didn’t try to hide. She just sat erect and posed. Even after the flash went off, she didn’t make a break for it. She stayed there and curled up on the floor. Not sure what got into her that day, but this is one of my favorite pictures of Page.

Now, let’s get to Page’s name. While I think Page is a perfect name for a dog living in a house with two writers (me and my wife), my son actually named her by accident. A year ago, we went looking for dogs and took the kids along. We wanted to make sure the dog we found would be child-friendly and one the kids weren’t scared of. The first dog that we nearly got was named “Peach.” We acted too slowly to get Peach, but a few days later, we found Page. Her name at the time was “Deja,” and while that’s a fine name, we still felt the need to give her a name of our own. As we tossed about names, our son was still thinking about Peach. He would slip up and try to call our new dog “Peach,” but it came out more like “Page.” As soon as I heard him say it, I knew that was the name.

It’s been a year since Page first joined our family, and I have to say I’m glad we got her. I wasn’t so keen about getting a dog, because I’d had one for my entire childhood and early teen years. I still can cry when I think about that furry little pikka-poo. My wife talked me into getting a new dog, though. I haven’t regretted caving on this one.

As it happens, this entry coincides with a “Weekend Assignment” about cats and dogs by the Blogfather himself, John Scalzi. The assignment: Cats vs. Dogs; choose which you prefer and tell why.

This might shock a few readers, but I prefer dogs. Yes, it’s true. My nickname might be Wildcat, but I’m just not a cat person. The only reason I’ve ever even owned any cats is because of my wife, but we no longer have any cats (and I don’t miss them). I consider cats sneaky, little, evil beasts that are one gene away from true “hell spawn.” Okay, well maybe I don’t hate them quite that much, but I just can’t abide the smell and those nasty litter boxes. We had cats when my wife was pregnant both times, and being stuck with months of cleaning that litter box by myself was most unpleasant. Yes, nothing close to the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth, I know, but that doesn’t mean I have to pretend I enjoyed it. Then there’s the attitude… or rather the “cat-titude.” Cats think they know darn well who the owner is: the cat. I just can’t stand a small furry creature treating me like a servant or a second-class citizen in my own home. Thank you, I have two children for this; I don’t need a pet for it.

Even worse, cats just seem to love me. It’s that cat thing: they’re naturally drawn to the one person who wants nothing to do with them. Hmmm... This might explain something about Frank! Speaking of Frank, he’s the closest thing to a cat we have now, and I’m not entirely convinced my wife doesn’t consider Frank the proof I’ve finally gone off the deep end (for some reason, she doesn’t think he really exists).

Then there’s my favorite advantage to dogs: they scare the hell out of burglars and unwanted guests knocking on my door. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to close the door on a door-to-door salesman when I’ve got a dog that’s part German Shepherd barking with a determination suggesting she wants to rip out someone’s guts. Good dog!

So yes, I love my not-so-little Page, and that’s why I really enjoy finding a way to include her in the online comic strips I do with Frank. I might add that Frank is the perfect cat for me. No litter box, no demands for attention and no claws. Of course, there’s still that cat-titude problem...


Sheri Blume said...

And of course, it falls to me (the wife) to set the record straight.
First of all, dear, you seem to have glossed over the fact that the dog, Page, was a birthday gift for my mother.
And second, I seem to recall you and our cat, Kash, getting very chummy. Don't pretend you didn't like that critter.

DesLily said...

You tell him Sheri! lol

and are you saying the pooper scooper smells better then a litter box? ummmm.. phew..I don't think so! (neither are pleasant)

But Page is certainly a pretty dog! but i don't think you could pose her like you do Frank lol..

Patrick said...

Page is definitely a beauty, but I can now testify from first-hand experience that her bark is quite intimidating.

I'm glad I had the chance to meet her in person! What a sweetheart!

Bill, the Wildcat said...

Hmmmm... Yes, folks, that's my wife. Suppose I should return the favor of setting the record straight. Yes, we got Page as a birthday gift for my mother-in-law, who lives with us, but my wife wanted a dog for herself, too (and trust me... what Dragon Queen wants... Dragon Queen gets).

Pat, fortunately we don't have to worry about a pooper scooper. Makes life a lot easier.

Patrick, I'm glad Page warmed up to you. We had David Robbins over one night for one of the JRW Conference planning meetings, and Page just wouldn't calm down with him around. As tall as David is, we think his height just freaked out Page to no end!