Last week, during my visit to my shrink, I told her that I'd been on my own so long — living by myself, completely independent, not deeply involved with anyone — that I worry I'll NEVER really be capable of having someone else seriously in my life. "Sometimes I think I'm such a confirmed bachelorette that I just won't be able to deal with it if and when someone else wants to depend on me," I said. "Maybe I'm scared, too, of letting myself depend on another person."

As usual, my shrink wanted to bring things around to herself. Wasn't I dependent on her? she wanted to know. (For a therapist, I must say, she's quite narcissitic.)

Afterwards we finished up, I took a quick stroll through Central Park — where spring-time signs of life were everywhere! It wasn't the flowers I was noticing as much as the puppies! A baby golden retriever, a baby pit bull, and even a baby Daschund! And then, of course, there's the adorable First Puppy, Bo Obama. (This video of him getting a nice firm handshake from the President is pretty adorable.)

I started to have some serious canine cravings. That's what I need, I thought. A pooch! I began to fantasize about getting a Chow, or a Bernese Mountain Dog. (Because, you know, I like my dogs like my men: huge and protective and ... hairy.) But really, in this case, size doesn't matter. The crucial thing is just having another living, breathing being in my daily life. A creature who depends on me ... and whom I depend on, too! Not that I need to be walked. (Although I do like to have my water changed at least twice a day.) But I would depend on Fido for his warm-fuzziness, literally and figuratively.

Yes, yes, it seems like a perfect plan to help me develop emotionally ... except ... I don't want to turn into a crazy dog lady!

Most crazy dog ladies can be identified by certain telling signs ...

- The crazy dog lady is concerned that the dog's chakras may not be balanced.

- She likes to dress her canine in sweaters, jumpsuits, and, on special occasions, specially-made Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses.

- Her dog's food looks more appetizing than your dinner. (And when you sneak a bite, you realize it TASTES better, too.)

- Her dog has his own stylist, who charges more per visit than your own hairdresser. And perhaps more than your monthly mortgage.

- She calls her dog her "fur-kid."

Hmm.

Maybe I should start with a goldfish?

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*Or whatever.

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