I am now, and forever will be, a cat person. Dog people, I'm sorry. You can blame it on my pet dog that knocked me down the stairs years ago or the one that wanted to eat my face when I was dressed as an Easter bunny.
The reason why I am potentially sparking the forever unresolved cat vs. dog debate is because my latest messy business column got me down and dirty - with dogs at the Lycoming County SPCA, 2805 Reach Road.
I wanted to volunteer there around the holiday season because I know a lot of people like to adopt pets as a gift. My mother, with her infinite wisdom, asked me how many pets I would adopt while there. Believe me, if it were not for my apartment having a strict 'no pet' rule, I would have come home with my new friend, April.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Above, Sun-Gazette reporter and columnist Alyssa Murphy washes April, a five year old pitbull mix, at the Lycoming County SPCA.
I met April the pitbull and terrier mix while pouring water into the dishes of the dogs. It was extremely loud because most just bark continuously for attention, but Rosie was the one who would not stop. She kept barking for seemingly no reason, but appeared perfectly content.
Later in the day, Victoria Stryker, executive director, let me wash April. I chased her around the room so I could lift her into the sink. I have never participated in a greased pig contest, but I imagine it would be just as difficult.
When I finally got her into the tub, I was surprised that she stood still. She did not run around the sink, but just remained motionless and posed, ready for her star treatment.
All through the shampooing stage, there she stood in her spot. The same could not be said when I rinsed her.
April apparently could not wait for the drying stage because she would start shaking the water off when I least expected it. Luckily, my apron took most of the damage.
I thankfully did not have to pick her up again because the sink had pull-out stairs she used to walk down. I was given the task of drying her, which once again became a chase game where I ran after her with a towel, getting a few rubs in before she went to her next destination. My proudest moment was when I trapped her in a corner to dry her. My worst moment was when she pushed through my legs seconds later.
Despite my preference for felines, I wanted to adopt her right then, just like my mother predicted, but common sense stopped me. A lot of people adopt pets without fully accepting the responsibility that comes with them. I did not want to be one of those people.
I am happy to say that since then, April has been adopted, so someone else will be able to enjoy that energetic pooch.
The Lycoming County SPCA has been around since 1892 and in their current building on Reach Road since 1998.
In 2011, Stryker said 1,163 pets were adopted.
For more information about the SPCA, visit lycomingspca.org or call 322-4646.