Friday, June 25, 2010

Unconditional Love: Not Just for Humans

My dog is out to kill me. She stresses me out. Every time her front paws touch my mattress and I hear that throaty cry, instant irritation sets in. And when I sit down to type, and her gigantic, thick-skulled head rests on my arm and drool coats my hands and keyboard, I resent the day I adopted her. I know that sounds mean, but seriously...this dog has chewed through countless small items PLUS a cell phone AND laptop. Despite these blatantly unforgivable short comings of hers, I still love the bitch.

Note the missing keys. Sorry for the poor quality.

A few months after I adopted her, I set off to buy her a new toy at the pet store (because she didn't have enough) with this grudge-filled love in mind. As soon as I walked in, I knew I had made a grave mistake. Standing in the entry way like a deer in headlights, my fight or flight sense kicked in to high gear. Annoyed that I’d driven 2 miles (TWO. WHOLE. MILES.) to this store, I ultimately decided to at least take a look around. Mistake number 2. The first aisle was nothing but an assortment of conveniently small pet goodies – specifically designed to be stuffed in a Christmas stocking decorated with paw prints. As if the idea of a stocking stuffed fuller than my own hanging above a high tech electric fire place wasn’t repulsive enough, I now knew that the pet toy making companies targeted this strange niche in the Christmas market. I blamed the dog for exploiting me and I needed a cigarette.

But did I turn around and leave? Nope. I kept browsing...mostly because I was bored. Then the visions started. Visions of my sweet puppy girl lazily chewing on a bone that had a beautiful red ribbon tied around it while laying under a Christmas tree. Visions of sneaking her bits of ham underneath the dining room table (because dogs deserve Christmas dinner too). Visions of her sitting ever so still wearing a Santa hat while I easily and gracefully snap a picture.

Those visions cost me approximately $50 that day. Yes, I bought my dog a stocking. Yes, it was stuffed to maximum capacity. Yes, the dog and I opened it together on Christmas (although she decided chewing on the tree was more fun than chewing on her brand new gigantic bone, wrapped in edible doggy wrapping paper {yes they really make that}). Once again, the dog had irritated me by using her cuteness to force me into wasting money.

A few months after that, I was taking her on a walk at night to her favorite tinkle bush. She spotted a squirrel, bolted through a field, slipped out of her collar, and was gone. That panic-y feeling I had in the pet store came back to me...but instead of being shot with a BB gun it was like having a nuclear bomb dropped on me. I ran back to the house to put on some shoes better suited for running (I was wearing flip flops) so I could hopefully catch her before she was lost forever. I also needed to call my dad (even though I was crying so hard that my speech had been reduced to babbles and gasps for air)...because every girl still needs her dad to comfort her sometimes. By the time I was done hysterically trying to explain to my dad what happened and got my sneakers on, I realized just how much this damn, cheweverythinginsight, drooloncashmere, whimperatfourinthemorning dog meant to me. I loved her like she was my own child. That dog comforted me when I was scared, lonely, and sad. She was always willing and eager to cover me in her sloppy licks. When I went through the darkest time in my life (another post...soon), she was the only thing I had to come home to.

When I eventually opened the door after slipping on my second shoe, my dog was prancing up the stairs to where I was standing, tongue lolling out of her mouth.

I could have killed her.

And now? Well...she still slobbers on everything. She still whines sometimes (though mostly when I won't let her on the bed with me...and how can you be mad about the cutest dog ever wanting to cuddle right beside you?). And if I ever need to cry at the drop of a hat (for my fabulous, non-existent acting career I never want) all I have to do is think about if that dog hadn't wandered back up those steps on her own that night.

No comments:

Post a Comment