And nothing sends us spiraling back to the bowels of that hell known as middle school than a new crush. I haven't had a real crush since the cutie from last August who was way too young for me. I suppose I could count Zack as a crush as well since I totally fell in love with the picture of a German shepherd without knowing anything about him.
Suddenly I find myself thinking about one of the actors in the play I saw on my birthday. We have mutual friends, he seems to be the perfect sort of dork that I like, and while I moon over him, he's happily going through life oblivious as a Labrador Retriever because I can't seem to figure out a way to let him know of my interest without looking like a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. I asked one of my friends to put a bug in his ear and my friend said, "You know, I could just slip him a note before study hall."
The funny thing I've noticed about crushes is that animal crushes are not much different from human crushes. I've had lots of animal crushes in the past despite the fact that I'm happily attached to the four beasts I have. Every time I pass a German shepherd riding by in a car, I do a head turn. I almost gave myself whiplash on a particular walk. A great looking guy drove by in a green truck, and while great looking guys are fun to look at and green is my favorite color, I was actually gawking at the gorgeous creature riding in the bed - a half-grown German shepherd puppy. My dog shares this with me. If she sees a German shepherd riding in the bed of a truck, she does a head turn as well, and once she even ran face first into a sign because she was gawking so hard.
Tess is still the most beautiful dog in the world to me, but I can't help myself whenever I see a shepherd. Lately they seem to be everywhere in this town. I can't leave the house without feeling my heart skip a beat every time I see a shepherd head hanging out the window of some car.
I developed another crush last summer when several friends and I attended an event celebrating the TV show, Longmire, based on books written by local author, Craig Johnson. Craig Johnson owns Bernese Mountain Dogs and always has since I've known him. This has created a trend in the area, and Bernese Mountain Dogs are everywhere, like shepherds. They are particularly popular among the local Craig Johnson fan club. A lady was helping out at the event, selling souvenirs promoting the show, and she'd brought along her gorgeous dog, Woodrow. He was the size of a small horse, sported a gorgeous shiny black coat, and sprawled on the floor at his mistress' feet like a bearskin rug. I could not keep my hands off him. I tried to hold a conversation with a guy I met there, but every few minutes I dropped to my knees to fondle the dog's ears and play with his enormous paws. Eventually it became a joke between me and the guy (who has since become a good friend). He kept saying I was neglecting poor Woodrow because thirty seconds had passed since I'd last petted him and I'd better rectify the situation immediately before Woodrow went through withdrawal.
Or maybe before I did.
I still think fondly of Woodrow. I don't exactly wish he was mine, but I'm not going to lie and say that I'd turn him down if he somehow showed up on my doorstep.
I crushed on a pit bull/boxer mix at the animal shelter a couple of years ago. I started frequenting the shelter every Saturday just to hang out with him for awhile. I never adopted him because I was at that time of my life when I didn't think I could handle two dogs, but that didn't stop me from gazing longingly at him from afar and dreaming about what it would be like to own him. I had specific fantasies of walking down the street, Tess on one side, the pit bull mix on the other, scaring people right and left with my two fearsome dogs. It doesn't get much more crush-like than that. How many of us have sat around dreaming about a crush and envisioning a perfect fantasy future together?
The dog did eventually get adopted and I hope his reality home is better than my fantasy home.
I've had several horse crushes. Those are the worst because as much as I would love to have a horse, that is one dream I probably won't realize. I don't really know how to take care of a horse, I have no room for a horse, and let's face it, what does one do with a horse? I can't ride for beans. The horse I learned to ride on was a Quarter Horse mare named Crazy Woman and I was crazy about her. After I moved out here, I spent a weekend with a friend on her family's ranch and they put me on a retired cutting horse named Toby. Toby and I lagged behind a lot because he was old and I was terrified, but near the end of the ride he started feeling his oats and tried to charge a bull. Oh, the adventures Toby and I had, and I continue to dream about him. Then there was my major horse crush, my ex-boyfriend's roping horse, Kid. I loved Kid. I always got to ride him when I visited my ex out on his family's ranch. Kid was a small, bay gelding with cute little ears. He liked to nuzzle my hair and I liked to pretend he was mine. I miss him more than my ex.
Around a crush one notices small physical changes, like shortness of breath, elevated heartbeat, a slight flushing of the skin, maybe sweaty palms, and the total inability to create reasonable speech. One just wants to be in the crush's orbit, possibly more to keep the feeling of euphoria than any true merit on the crush's part. My current crush is cute, funny, and talented. The few times I've been in his orbit I have produced such gems as "Hi" and "I loved your performance" and "You're such a riot." I can't make eye contact because that might give him the idea that I actually find him interesting (Heaven forbid), and I can't seem to stop from bolting for the door or hiding behind a friend every time I realize he's in my proximity. It's not that being in his presence necessarily gives me the shivering fits, I just can't seem to string words together to make a normal sentence whenever I'm around him. I don't want to marry this guy, just like I don't want to own any of my animal crushes. I just want the chance to get to know him, maybe be friends. He seems like he'd be a fun friend, just like Woodrow seemed like he'd make a fun bearskin rug. For all I know my crush is a total tool (evidence does point to the opposite though). He might think I'm a shy little mess. We might decide we hate each other. Most likely, when I actually have a conversation with him the mystery will disappear and he will be restored to human being status so I can stop acting like I'm in junior high around him. If I actually had to live with Woodrow my loveglow would probably wear off when I realize he sheds the equivalent of another dog and takes up half the size of one of my rooms.
And yet, the crush is fun. It's fun having someone to think about, even if it's all fantasy. The spark of excitement when I see my human crush or a picture of Woodrow makes me feel alive and gives me hope again. Hope that there are nice, funny, sweet guys out there, and that yes, it is possible for me to love another dog since I'm perpetually terrified of losing Tess. I can't wait to see Woodrow again this summer at Longmire Days. As for my crush, well I can't wait for the next play, if for no other reason than I can enjoy watching his talent without making a complete ass of myself.
"You're such a good puppy dog, yes you are!" and a belly rub work for Woodrow. Now let's see if I can generate something a bit more intelligent than "Duuuhhhrrrr, you're nice" the next time I run into my human crush.
After all, it's just a little crush.
The beautiful and enormous Woodrow