I admit, I make a big fuss over these pups. These sassy, spoiled girls are pretty special to me and I do tend to love on them constantly.
I don't have a favorite - I love them all the same.
Really, I do.
But Cole will tell you Angel Doodle, the curvy pit-mix, is my baby girl.
I was on the phone one night with Mama, telling her the Doodle's latest escapades. She is quite the mischievous little whosa, getting into quite the pickles and jams but getting off scot free due to her adorableness.
How can you not adore a little weeble-wobble who wakes you in the morning, putting one paw on your shoulder while she pushes her head into your other for an embrace? It's preciousness!
She still thinks she is the teeny tiny puppy I brought home from Walmart last spring and tries to get up on my lap. As a puppy, I could position my laptop to one side, her in a corner and she would sleep for hours. Now, that arrangement is not working so well.
And said laptop is looking worse for wear. Three buttons are missing, thanks to the Doodle.
Not entirely her fault. She was playing with Pumpkin and the Border collie got a wee bit too rough for her.
Of course, if you raise your voice at the Doodle, she will hide behind the couch and cry.
But she jumped up on my lap and took off two buttons one night, another the next.
I was telling Mama how the Doodle's newest theme song is "All About That Bass."
Yes, she has a theme song....and yes, I sing it to her.
As Mama and I laughed about the goings on of my girls, particularly the pit-mix, Cole glared at me over his laptop.
"She can do no wrong!" he exclaimed.
"The Doodle," he said, sounding disgusted. "If I tore three buttons off your laptop, you would be mad, but Doodle does it and it's ‘oh, heeheee, bless it, she was scared!'"
"That's not true," I said.
"Yes, it is. You are always loving on the Doodle, kissing the Doodle -"
"That little spot between her eyes just begs to be kissed," was my defense.
It does. Really. If you saw her, you'd want to kiss it too.
And she loves it - she pushes her little head in to get more kisses.
"You call Nennie to tell her the Doodle News. It's ridiculous."
Where did this come from? The Doodle was actually curled up next to the child on the couch, sleeping good and looking oh, so adorable. She had even been able to win over Lamar, who had proclaimed one night if the German shepherd couldn't get on the bed, she wasn't either. We found her later, asleep with her head on his stomach.
"What?" he said defensively. "She's just a baby."
"He's jealous of the Doodle," Mama said on the phone. "You're not paying enough attention to him!"
That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. The president gets less attention than this child.
"Mama, he gets plenty of attention. Trust me."
"No, I don't!" Cole cried. He woke the Doodle from her pre-bedtime nap. Sensing his agitation, she licked his face, pawing at him to say everything was OK.
"Cole! You get plenty of attention! If you got more, I'd have to hire someone to come here!" I exclaimed. "I hate to say this, but I think you are being a tad bit silly."
He dropped those lashes and said ruefully, "Said the woman who was jealous of a cat."
"What?" Mama asked on the other end. It's hard having a discussion - one in person, one on the phone. And now Doodle was needing to be cuddled; her nap was cut short. It was 8 p.m. - bed time would be soon. Who was going to soothe her?
"Who was jealous of a cat?" I asked.
"Who?" Mama said. "You haven't had a cat in years. Is he jealous of Kate?"
Kate is my uncle's million dollar cat. She is fierce, wild and rules the western corridor of Walton County from her perch in my grandmother's closet.
"I believe he's referring to me," I said.
"Why were you jealous of a cat? Oh....wait a second. He means my Bennie, doesn't he?" she said.
Yes, he meant her Bennie. Her Bennie, who was, I will admit, a beautiful, sweet heart of a cat. All black and white fluffy fur, she would mold to you when you hugged her. Unlike other cats, Bennie wasn't aloof but quite the hostess, entering a room, tail high to greet company when they arrived.
When I had returned from my honeymoon with the ex, we went to see Mama at her post-retirement, trying not be bored to death, job at Walmart. Mama called a co-worker over, saying: "I want you to meet my baby."
The woman looked at me confused.
"Jean, I thought Bennie was a cat?"
I promptly shrugged Mama's arm off my shoulders.
"Your baby is a cat? You talk about your cat more than you do me? You love that cat - more than you do me!"
Mama looked at me straight faced and said: "Well, Bennie's not going to ever up and marry and leave me, now is she?"
I didn't mean to do it. But I had been making a big fuss over the Doodle - her firsts, her puppy cuteness.
"She's almost two and weighs more than I do. She's not a puppy anymore!" Cole will say.
Maybe not. But I was making him feel like she was more important than him and that was not right and not true.
And if anyone knew how wrong that was, it was me.
Living up to a cat was tough enough, I shouldn't expect my own child to live up to a Doodle.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."