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What's Your Excuse?

We all have reasons for having a pet. In my case, they're my excuse for almost everything. If I want to avoid certain people or certain social activities, I tell them my pet needs my attention urgently. Surprisingly, people don't ask questions whenever I do this - and I like that. Rearranging your sock drawer just doesn't cut it nowadays as a legitimate excuse, and I'm glad I have my cute little shih tzu "Cookie" to make my life easier. Don't get me wrong, I love Cookie as my best friend but I want to share how my pet and I have a give-and-take relationship - a relationship we didn't even have to talk about.

First, let me tell you how Cookie has saved me several times from boring parties and no-show dates; Cookie is my savior - my constant excuse and fallback when things don't go exactly as I'd hoped. When a date doesn't show up, I can content myself with lounging on the couch, watching TV with Cookie. Does she care if we catch up on the latest episodes of CSI: Miami or watch Seinfeld reruns over and over again? No. In fact, I can watch TV static or the famous colored bars all day and she'll watch it with me, no questions asked - and she will be elated because I was with her. She will not complain even though I spent time with her only after wasting away the greater part of the day looking for something else to do. I mean, who else will you find eagerly waiting for you at home after you've ignored them the whole day?

In spite of using Cookie to avoid or limit social interaction, she is also, ironically, the key to most of the social interaction I have with other people outside my circle of friends. I can't count the times some friendly stranger approached me in the park to comment on how cute Cookie is. One thing leads to another and by the end of our conversation I have just gained a friend - or at least an acquaintance. Cookie also makes canine friends when I take her out for walks and their owners almost always become my friends, too.

Now, you might say the relationship Cookie and I have is a one-way street but you're mistaken. I take care of my pet and make sure that all her needs are met. I don't just feed her and give her a place to live, too; I provide her certain luxuries that will put other pet owners to shame. I recently bought her a new raspberry-colored "Lap of Luxury" velvet bed. Now she sleeps and feels like a queen; thanks to online shopping. Online shopping gives Cookie and me a chance to shop together. There are also various pet products that you can only find online. Have a gander at the product catalog of www.petshed.com and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Now when I'm invited to a party I'm not interested in attending, I don't need an excuse. I have a reason. I have Cookie. How about you? What's your excuse?