Dear reader – Around a year ago (September 20th to be exact), I wrote the below as an ode to my gorgeous dog. Please enjoy my embarrassing display of love for my beloved animal.
As a young woman in her very very early thirties, my uterus is supposed to be doing flips when a newly born baby is within close distance. It doesn’t. Nor does any other part of my body. While most girls, I mean women, my age dream of marriage and babies, my dream tends to veer off course a bit.
Mainly, my dream is three-tiered: a huge (by Manhattan standards) loft in the non-child part of Tribeca, though I’d settle for the non-douchy bit of SoHo; a handsome successful man who comes with the apartment and shares my beliefs and love of Jesus, coffee and Seinfeld; and the last piece of the puzzle, an adorable dog or two.
Before you shake your head thinking I’m missing out on the joys of motherhood to a human baby, let me run my case. For the most part, dogs are self-sufficient. Once trained, one rarely has to clean up their bodily fluids. Children on the other hand seem to always be sticky-icky.
Secondly, and this is a huge point, it is socially acceptable to keep a dog on a leash, yet if a child is leashed, the parents will be regarded as Nazis.
Thirdly, one does not need to sit with his or her dog to do homework, force-feed them spinach, or save up for the dog’s college education.
Lastly, as far as I know, it is illegal to leave your child in a kennel and go out for the night. Oh, I almost forgot, one’s dog can bark at people and it’s considered normal. If one’s child started screaming and hurling insults at strangers, the parent will be judged, and the child will be deemed the devil’s spawn.
I must admit, I haven’t always been a lover of dogs. I used to have a paralyzing fear of them. That all changed 10 years ago. I was living with my parents at the time, and one day my dad brought home a dog.
My initial reaction was to jump on the bed, lest this 19-pound beast eats me. Quickly I realized I was much bigger than this little white creature, and all she wanted was love. And I gave it to her! I fell in love hard, and fast. She became the love of my life.
I loved playing with her, walking her, discovering hidden talents like chasing flies and stealing chicken from the table, but most of all, it felt like she not only completed our family, but was equal to any one of us. She dished out the love right back, and my obsession was on its way.
When we were away for vacation and had to leave her behind, I worried about her constantly even though she was in good hands. I fully admit I am one of those people who see their dog as a person, and value their dog’s life as much as any human’s, if not more. She constantly brought me joy, welcomed me home in a way no other being ever has, argued with me, followed me around and generally ruled my heart.
She was full of personality, mostly one that resembles mine, and had a distorted self image – one which made her think she can take down big dogs. I never felt like I needed to have babies, because I already had one. And yes, I did equate her to any child. If a friend was boasting of her child learning to walk, I was secretly smirking at the fact that my baby has been walking all along.
In the past 10 years, I never had to take her to the vet because that was my dad’s job, but one day last month when she’d had stomach problems for a couple of weeks, I took her in with my sister. I was a nervous wreck at the thought of anything happening to my baby. I started babbling on my fears to the doctor, only to be informed by my sister he’s the doctor’s little helper. I had never met a vet before, and the man walking into the room introducing himself as Dr. Davis didn’t ease my worries. He looked more like a sitcom character actor, than the man who will cure my baby. But alas, he put my mind at ease, but not before shocking me with the tremendous cost of doggie healthcare.
He told me buying dog insurance would be futile as my dog has a “pre-existing condition.” I asked him when Obamacare would be extended to pets; he didn’t laugh, but instead had a look of constipation on his face. I get it; don’t mix politics with dog stool samples. Before we exited, I asked if I should be worried about how much weight my baby has lost.
He said “Nah, I have a feeling she was a bit fat to begin with.” I told him to be careful what he says in front of her as she’s a bit sensitive about her butt. Again, the constipated look. He then told me not to be so sensitive about her whimpering as he claimed “her kind can be over-sensitive.” I asked him if he was calling my dog a drama queen. He responded with a “Yes.” Racist!
The experience of taking the little white creature (“LWC” as we refer to her) to the vet, has made me rethink my dream. Maybe keep the overpriced loft and the hot husband, but no offspring, four-legged or otherwise. My emotions were out of control at the thought of my baby being sick and my inability to fix her. It scares me who I’d choose if I had to pick her life over someone else’s. Aren’t you glad I’m not Jesus?! Maybe it’s best to only extend one’s love to just human family you’re born to, and the one person you choose to finish your life next to. Yes, less love, that sounds like a plan.
The plan sounds ideal on this particular day as this dark day has marked the end of my LWC’s life. I’ve been crying for five days straight as the end was nearing. I’m heartbroken, devastated, angry, and overwhelmed with grief and loss. I am saddened my husband will never know her, nor will she be the flower dog at my wedding. I guess she got sick of waiting. But I will always love her, and will never forget her. I will hold all my treasured memories of my furry beloved in my heart.
She will always remain my fearless protector, unless approached by a vacuum or plastic bag. Waking up at my parents’ home and going to the bathroom will never be the same without the LWC following me in with no regard for privacy and a look that says “I belong here as much as you do” just to get a pat on the head.
They say dogs don’t have souls and therefore can’t go to heaven. I beg to differ. My furry beloved had a huge tender heart, an incredible ability to love and receive love, and a way of healing my soul that is indescribable. I don’t know if dogs go to heaven or not, but I hope they do. Although, I hope she has repented for her sins. I’m aware of one squirrel and three birds who have met their demise at the LWC’s paws.
It would comfort me to an extreme degree to know I’ll see the LWC in heaven. I’d like to be escorted to heaven by angels, and as I approach the door, Jesus opens it and says, “Finally! I’ve been waiting for YOU!”, and gives me the best hug I’ll have gotten up to that point. I want to look down at Jesus’ feet and see the LWC wagging her tail, and trying to tell me in her dog barks how awesome it is to be in Heaven.
Then I want Jesus to take me to Heaven’s espresso bar as he says, “Wait till you taste the coffee up here.”
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