Dude, I get it. There are scores of folks out there I owe an apology. In this case I’m referring to dog owners. I know why you think they speak English. I know why you take countless photos. They are quadrupedal people.
Last Christmas I got a dog. Carolyn, my girlfriend at the time, spoke passionately that I would feel calmer owning one. I’d never owned a dog. My parents made it clear when I was a child who would carry the canine’s responsibility (poop-scooping, mainly). I wasn’t that guy (then).
Forty-five years later I find myself in Mostly Mutts. My fairweather Roswell family felt it time to introduce new members. Carolyn let me experience “real dog life” with an animal well-trained, fun, and even-tempered. There grew in me a hankering to get one.
I named her Daisy. Don’t know why I picked Daisy. We walked into Mostly Mutts with zero expectations. Twenty-four hours later we returned to take Daisy home. I was terrified.
(I’m less, but still, terrified.)
Daisy quickly grew into a soft jewel my recovering heart starved to feel. She was my anxiety dog easing autism stressors. So new was it to have something so incredibly excited to see me.
That’s why when heartbreak exiled me and she and kept Daisy, the blessings of my puppy’s memory are fresh. I miss my dog.
This too shall pass.
Though Daisy is in the hands of someone with no love for me, I still want you to know the virtues a dog brings to your life:
- Dogs Promote Chill: I won’t lie. Daisy came eerily pre-programmed. Minimal toilet drama. Nearly zero barking. I am blessed. When anxiety gnaws at me Daisy knows it. I never believed it until it happened. Like God it’s there but indescribable.
- Promotes Maturity: Yeeeaaaah….I got behind in this virtue. Good, bad, or train wreck – on the other side there’s selflessness enough to let more in. Daisy isn’t fussy, but she will throw one unattended. I can’t get too full of myself when a life depends on me.
- Increases Patience: More than once I’ve said that patience is a super power. The last two years built up my reserves to handle my hairy child. I watch her. She’ll wait long for me to finish writing, but whine when it’s time. I get outside.
- More Exercise: You are guaranteed more exercise unless you’re an awful person and lock the critter indoors. Take the dog outside. Safe distance from other people, but chummy with your mutt. Dogs are great listeners. Pretty sure Daisy’s going to blackmail me when she’s old enough to drive.
- Awareness of Time: I still have an issue with this. Time. Not so much “late” as “locked-too-long-in.” Attention is given to people in time convenient to them. Daisy is mine to worry about. Responsible for life, for my better decisions, to keeping the little lady in check.
I urge you to think hard about adopting an animal. Let the high wear of, wait a few days, and then make that leap. If you don’t worry a little you should be worried. Getting over that fear, watching the puppy grow up, get gangly, trip, seem to laugh, and lick on you – it’s magic every day.
Mostly Mutts is a no-kill shelter run by phenomenal people. Their staff matches owners with dogs meant to share good days. Never rushed. Professional but compassionate, theirs is an establishment I trust and endorse. I promise dogs make your heart bigger.