I never would have selected a miniature pinscher as a pet for myself. I've got long-held biases about the characteristics of the dogs I would let live in my home.
While I've always been a dog person — a trait I inherited from my Dad — my ideal dog has always been of the hound or retriever variety.
Never did I expect to fall in love with a tiny, nervously energetic, goggle-eyed, yappy pup that in adulthood would weigh in at no more than eight pounds. But sometimes God gives you gifts you never asked for, and that certainly was the case with little Maggie.
Maggie was born just two years and five days ago, and she came into my life indirectly — to Kaylee, the then 16-year old daughter of my girlfriend Ginger. I visited their home not far from mine frequently and grew to love the little dog.
In due time, we were all under the same roof and here I was living with the type of dog I never anticipated tolerating before.
But I soon learned that that yap dog was also a lap dog and her affinity for giving kisses and cuddling wasn't so bad — and was in fact adorable.
Before long, she was going with me and my Lab for hikes in the woods. While Shelly the retriever loved to fetch a stick thrown into the creek, Maggie had no desire to get wet, but still enjoyed running alongside the creek yapping away at the big blonde Labrador while Shelly and I repeated the fetch game, over and over and over.
Maggie didn't know a stranger. Walks in the woods were scary at times, because Maggie was just as happy to walk off with a friendly family we'd come across while hiking. At the neighboring golf course, Maggie disregarded golfing etiquette and ran to greet any golfer in sight, regardless of whether he or she was concentrating on a putt.
Every stranger was greeted with a few barks, a wary sniff and a kiss.