This Dog is Loved

"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do."

Every thing I love is on the table.

Well, I HAVE been looking for a way to bring this blog back for a while. Like, over a year a while. I suppose drastic life changes usually kick start old habits.

A couple days ago I was posed with a question. If I were dying- and only had time to say one thing- and that thing was what I’d want people to know about my life. It’s old hat enough that those who know me best know that I said my dogs. Maybe not old hat to know why they (and specifically Elsa here) are the most important thing I’ve ever done. It’s all very self serving, and I don’t know what it says about me or really where this dog “thing” came from, but there is something about taking something that is unwell and making it so again. And when I really think about it, I gain nothing in return other than I just enjoy these dogs. Dog lovers are interesting to me because we do these things to give a creature a life, no matter how difficult it makes ours, because we.. like dogs?

I can’t appropriately sort out any one’s motivation, but I think I vaguely understand mine, and it might help people understand me. I am completely inept when it comes to human interaction. I am awkward, skittish, impulsive, and terrified. I always say the wrong things. I am constantly working towards healthy relationships with people, but I never quite get ahead. Humans are weird, way too complex, and capable of a wide range of terrible things, sometimes for reasons we can’t even begin to understand. I am aware I have a reputation for being cold and shut off, but I’m definitely not. I have a very small group of friends, some made quite quickly, that have earned my trust and I am comfortable with. Most importantly, comfortable with fucking up with. I don’t need to have an out to purposefully fuck up, but these people get me, love me, and can continue a relationship without letting mistakes upheave the whole thing because the friendship outweighs whatever happened. This is the rad thing about dogs. The relationship is truly unconditional.

I fucked up with Jonas years ago right after I brought him home. He bit me in the face. The physical scar is life long, but the emotional damage was over and done with quickly. He doesn’t understand that I’m sorry, and he can’t tell me he’s sorry. There is no room to dwell on it. When I came home from the hospital he hid under the couch until the next day and we started over. Something about the lack of being able to communicate verbally, for me, takes away a lot of the challenge. We didn’t have some long drawn out discussion about where I went wrong, why he did what he did, and how we can fix it. I could trust it wouldn’t happen again because I wouldn’t make the same mistake again, and we could easily move forward. 7 years on now and the fear aggressive guy is gone.

Then I get dogs like Elsa and Magpie, where someone did the fucking up for me, and they can still come back. This isn’t to say that all dogs can magically come back from whatever happened to them (and same goes for us of the people variety) but if you get it the feeling is indescribable. Magpie came to me withdrawn and only came out of her shell to bite in response to.. most things. Elsa would scream and climb a wall if I came within 10 feet of her. Neither had very high chances of functioning as what we consider “normal” dogs, but now they are and I did that. There is something good about me that is capable of patience, love, and understanding that comes easy. These dogs trust that I am good and will not hurt them, and vice versa. In turn we do fun things together and are happy. This is not easily transferrable to people, so I would imagine this is where this weird dog love was born. Also, Shambles can do stuff like open the baby gate when I need to carry my laundry downstairs, and who doesn’t think that’s cool?

The reason I’m writing this is because I am losing two of my dogs. Not LOSING them, but due to the end of a relationship with shared dogs I will be moving out next month and Jack and Magpie will not be coming with me. It was always said that this would be the order of things, but it was just that. Saying. Now it’s reality and it fucking sucks. Realistically I likely cannot afford all of them on my own and I will still see them when we work out scheduling, but I can’t even look at my Jack and Magpie right now. In less than a month there will not be so many daily things. Random lung crushing hugs from Magpie. Jack moving about the house, guarding each door way for a little while while I sleep. Snarly bear noises from Magpie while she attempts to play with Shambles, and that ear piercing Elkhound yap as he fun polices the whole thing. Their smelly, old dog problems that are nothing but endearing to me. These dogs that I need every day.

There are too many questions. Will their affection lessen towards me when they’re not with me every day? What do dogs actually think when you don’t came back every day? What will the dogs do when they don’t see each other on a daily basis? They’re both elderly, what if they’re not with me when they pass?

Overwhelming.

I laughed now that I wrote all this because these little soul suckers are opting to ask to go in/out one by one in various intervals instead of all just going out at one time, forcing me to get up and walk back and forth 50 times. Dogs.

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