I frequently joke that I don’t love my dog. And at times in the past couple of years it has felt like I don’t…
It sounds incredibly callous and to a dog-lover, it would sound downright insane.
I don’t think I am a “dog-lover” but once upon a time we made a choice. We chose the one with the yellow collar.
She has been a giant pain in my ass ever since. She has been over-enthusiastic, over-friendly…over everything yet when it comes to the kids she has been patient, loving and tolerant.
I suppose it is that I am starting to sleep but I seem to not only tolerate my once beloved dog but actually love those quiet moments with her. It amazes me that she has been accepting of my two-year hiatus. Two-year emotional hiatus. I have met her physical needs of letting her out, feeding her, grooming her etc. But I haven’t looked into those brown eyes with the same affection of a moment long ago.
I have been spending four years staring into the bright blue eyes of my three children. And I don’t have to be ashamed. Sometimes we enter into phases in our lives where enough is enough where our limit of giving has reached the top of the glass…and there is no more room left.
What more was there to give when I had a twenty-seven month old and two newborns? What was I to do when the dog was barking to go outside and I was bouncing one newborn in a bouncy chair, breastfeeding another newborn and reading stories to my toddler (several times per day)?
What strikes me is that my dog does not hold it against me. I fear when she is gone that I will have to ask myself why couldn’t I have given more love? What is wrong with me?
As the house goes quiet and I pet my puppy…I don’t know that it matters…and I am starting to realize why a dog-lover is a dog-lover. It is the unconditional love of one’s pet that fills in the edges of the day and one’s own imperfections.
Tessa, you drive me mad but thank you for your big, brown eyes and teaching me about love and forgiveness.