After 41 years of becoming who I am and searching for myself and meaning in life; after getting married, establishing a career, exploring all the wonders of pleasure and the pursuit of loftier goals in this life, I have finally come to realize just who we are and we were meant to be: dog people.
You’d think this would have been obvious, given both our lifelong love of dogs and our past experiences of owning dogs, both separately and together. You’d think, after the gut wrenching heartbreak of losing our first (joint) pet and best friend, Clyde, last year, we would have understood just what that love and loss meant.
But it didn’t all really – REALLY – sink in until yesterday, even after having mapped out our plans for the future last December, which included a house with a fenced in yard so that we could, eventually, get two dogs; after realizing our new home was missing something and adopting Harvey, falling madly in love with him at first sight, just as we had with Clyde years before; after paying money we barely had to get our fence fixed and Harvey enrolled in puppy class and a wellness program; after bringing home our newest dog, Rita, and falling in love with her more each day, as well; after spending last week agonizing over whether to add a third dog to the mix (a decision we go back and forth on, still); and after experiencing guilt as we’ve crated them, left them to go to work and even gone socializing; yes, it all coalesced into a cohesive awareness yesterday, on the way home from getting Rita her dog license, then traipsing the dogs over to Pet Smart to get her a new cushion for her crate (we forgot to buy when we got her crate so we’ve been using a pillow wrapped in a towel), some more chew toys and her nails clipped.
It was that moment in the car, when they both struggled to get to the front seat from the back seat, desperately wanting to be on my lap, up front with their dads, finally making their way there, as I struggled to hold them both and survive their barrage of kisses and cuddles, trying to get a decent picture of all three of us and laughing hysterically, thinking how this…this was the epitome of endless, unconditional love and that I never wanted that moment to end and how glad I was to be able to give these two amazing creatures a home and how lucky we were to get them, have them, live with them, love them and be loved by them… that our home, our marriage, our family, our life, would have been incomplete without knowing the companionship and love of all of our four legged “kids.” It was that moment when I knew, if I never do another worthy thing in this life, it will have been a life with purpose and meaning because we were loved and depended upon, by our dogs. Yes, the agony of losing our little buddy last year was crippling, but I’d never sacrifice the love and joy he gave us to avoid it.
So, yeah, we’re dog people.