I have a conjoined twin. I know that is somewhat of a shocking revelation, but it is true. He is short, roughly one half of my height, covered in golden-red hair and his breath smells like rotten fish. We are conjoined at an odd location, his head is joined with my butt.
Yes, I am talking about my 11 year old Golden Retriever, Cody. Our attachment is symbiotic, bordering on parasitic. He gets to be petted whenever he wants and constant companionship and I get stress relief, a life long friend and dog hair everywhere.
He has always been “my” dog, he is part of the family and loves everyone in the house, but he is my dog all the same since the first day he came through the door. We adopted him a few years ago from a Golden Retriever rescue 5 months after our previous Golden passed away. Cody was brought to our house, so we could check him out and so that he could check us out. If everything worked out, we could “foster” him for two weeks before deciding if we would like to keep him. When he first arrived, he and I sat on the floor in the kitchen together and he fell asleep in my lap as I petted his ears and head. I knew then and there that he would not need to find another home, because he already had one with us.
Cody was given up for adoption because he l
ikes has an extreme need is obsessed with people needs to be around people. His previous “owners” (I will refer to them as “owners” and I have omitted many other names and descriptions to keep this as PG-13 as possible, but please feel free to insert whatever word you have for heartless bastards you may have) forced him and his brother to live outside for 6 years before finally giving him up for adoption. The “owners” ran a business from their home and the dogs would smother their clients when they came over. Goldens love people, it is a fact, maybe the “owners” should have thought about that or made better plans before they got them. Cody’s brother was given up for adoption first and then a few months later, they gave Cody up. In the end, they did the right thing, but that still doesn’t make up for 6 years.
As I have said previously, there are people that like dogs and those that do not. I have always had a sort of animal magnetism. Dogs seem to be attracted to me. It is probably because I am receptive to them. I talk to them, I pet them, I get down on the floor and play with them. I don’t carry food or treats in my pockets, although based on my eating habits, I can see how you might assume that I would.
Female dogs are a different story. I don’t really know how to explain it, but every time I am near a female dog, they pee on the floor. Sammy, Zoe, Reese, they are only a few of the bitches that wet themselves when I approach. My effect on members of my own species is not so profound.
The bond between Cody and I steadily increased when I began working from home a few years ago. At first, he would spend his days like he normally would, sleeping in the family room on the sofa. But after a few months, he would hang out closer and closer to me, until finally we are the point now where he is figuratively/almost literally attached to my ass.
While I am at my desk working (most days I can’t even move my chair because some part of his body is blocking the wheels, the arm of my chair is at the bottom of the picture):
While I am making dinner (picture taken from the kitchen counter him directly behind me, the OD Green thing at the bottom is my leg):
While I am washing the dishes (I had to make him lay down away from the cabinets so I could actually move around):
When I come inside and he is still outside (Cody can open the screen door by himself, but I have yet to capture this with camera or video):
When I had to sleep in my 5 YO’s room last night (taken from the bed in the dark):
When I am laying on the sofa (this makes power napping extremely difficult, the grey thing at the bottom of the pic is my chest):
Cody’s face is terribly bleached white from the sun and stress of having to live outside for 6 years. His teeth are very worn down from having only sticks to chew on and play with when he was with his former “owners”. It took about 6 months to finally get him to stop trying to pick up and play with every stick he came across.
I would not change him or his attachment to me. I complain and curse when I trip over him or can’t get past him coming through a door or walking on the stairs, but we love him and he loves us. And that is all that matters.
Note: Cody frequently has very active and vocal “dreams”. I have not been able to capture a clear video with good audio of one of them without waking him up. I will post it as soon as I can get one.