My wife is from between the pinky and the ring finger.
(Traverse City) I would like to add a wholehearted "second" to everything you said about this group. I would like to highly recommend Larry Millers "You can play Cajun Accordion". It has a CD and lesson book with tablatures. The graphics are very rough and primitive (it's from the '80s) but very, very informative and a great first start. The CD has all the examples of the basics, and a wonderful collection of old time tunes by Nonc Allie Young. One strong recommendation from Larry was to not try to play too many tunes at once. Pick one, and play it thousands of times before you move on. My first inspiration and my first song was Colinda played by Nonc Allie. I then heard "J'Ai Vu Le Loup, Le Renard Et La Belette" by Balfa Toujours and I discovered the Balfa Brothers. My second inspiration and playable song was "My True Love" on which Hadley Fontenot plays a most amazing and intriquing accordion lead that I just had to try to duplicate. I am now working on High Point Two Step (Steve Riley !!!!). I learned to play two finger octaves right from the start, and found that is actually so much easier than trying to play single finger, and I can't even play single finger any more. Once you get down that the push octave is two buttons apart, and the pull octave is three, it really becomes very natural to work up and down the scales. I've been playing less than a year. My biggest limitation now is that I have never learned to play instruments by ear and have trouble picking out phrases from songs I listen to. So far everything I can play is stuff I've found the written music for. Once I get the initial phrasing down, I can pretty much fake it from there, and figure out the "turn" by trial and error.
And I know what you mean about your dog hating you. Every time I pull out my box, the dogs get up and leave the room. **** dogs lick their butts, so what do they know, right?