The not-so-secret secret is out: Here Comes Gina loves poodles. Poodles are awesome. They have hypoallergenic fur, they're crazy ass smart and everyone wants to breed other types of dogs with them. HCG can spot a poodle from a mile away, and we usually start running toward it when we do.
Meet my two favorite poodles, Rusty (left) and Boots (right), both of whom technically belong to my sister CF. Rusty is a toy poodle and will be 6 in May. Boots is a teacup poodle and was born about 3 months ago. Although Rusty looks like King Kong in this photo, he weighs only about 8 pounds. Boots, the little ferret collar-wearing mo fo that he is, currently tips the scales at 2.3 pounds.
I've always had a very special connection with Rusty, and CF alleges that I love him more than her two human children. Rusty is pretty much the coolest thing on four legs, and I'm not the only one who thinks that - everyone who meets him loves him. He's practically a local celebrity in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the New Jersey shore (he vacations in Cape May. People who see him on the beach at the bay yell, "Look, it's Rusty from last summer!"). The jury is still out on Boots. I don't really know him that well, and he still has a lot of growing up to do. He definitely has potential.
Being a poodle lover without one of my own isn't easy. I'm known to interrogate any stranger walking a dog that remotely resembles a poodle, and I usually request to take a photo (as I did during NYFW last year). Often times people assume my enthusiasm means I, too, am a poodle owner. If they ask, I sometimes lie and say I am (to the girl I met with the red toy named Teddy in H&M last week: I'm sorry. I'm a fraud). I've learned it's kind of embarrassing to tell people that the presents you're buying and stories you're telling are actually about your sister's dog, not yours. Plus, I'm a really good liar, so the falsities come naturally.
I dream of the day God blesses me with my own poodle to love. Ever since I was a little girl (back before my dad gave our 7-year-old black toy poodle Pepper to Main Line Animal Rescue when my parents bought a shore house - that tells you what kind of guy he is), I always knew "One day I'm going to make a great poodle owner." And finally, after all these years, I'll have my own stories to tell.