Commitment is hard. Like really hard. So when my brother and his dog moved out a few years ago, I was faced with a difficult decision.
Buy my own dog or live peacefully ever after?
I already knew dogs were a complete and total pain in the butt from my years of living with my bro and his pup. I even had all the joys of dog ownership – a running partner and a scare tactic when the Arm & Hammer reps came to the door – without any of the responsibilities – vet appointments, buying food. I only had to endure damage to my home – broken deck spindles, stained carpet, ruined couches, a yard caked with yellow grass marks… you get the idea.
But for as much as I complained about it, I found myself missing puppy companionship once my bro and his dog high-tailed it out of here. The home felt empty without paws dragging mud in, without slobber on my lap and without a dog curled up under the clothes in my closet.
To fill the void, I took a few trips to the humane society and fell in love with a new best friend. He was just a little pup. He was missing a canine, had a googly eye and, when he was really excited, he’d pee when he walked.
I had to have him.
Unfortunately, he was adopted before I had a chance to nab him, but he miraculously returned four months later (behavioral issues were with the owner, not the dog). It was meant to be. A match made in heaven. He was mine.
I grew up with family dogs, but this is the first time I’ve experienced having my very own pet that I got to name without arm wrestling siblings. I named him Hines, after the greatest receiver of all time, Hines Ward.
Now don’t be fooled. Hines has a lot of great talents. He can chew bones like a champ, he’s super protective and he can spend a crazy amount of time in a deep slumber. But he can’t catch. He can’t even snag a full tortilla when it’s tossed directly at him.
Anyway, we recently celebrated our one year anniversary and not a day has gone by where I don’t find little blonde hairs poking out of my shirt. My patio door is caked with a film that resembles stained glass in a way. The back seat of my car is full of dog hair, and little rivers of drool stream down the rear windows from when he sticks his head out the windows. And the nose prints on my full-length mirror make me chuckle. It’s a sure sign he’s intimidated by his own reflection.
“Whatchoo lookin’ at?”
“This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”
He hates baths, which of course I think is hilarious. And, as you might gather, he really hates the car wash. Any time we go through a drive-thru, its drool galore, even if we’re at the bank or getting coffee. Turns out that Pavlov guy was pretty spot on.
He follows me everywhere. He lies on my yoga mat when I curse Jillian and her fat-blasting techniques. The few times he’s allowed in my bed, it’s like he was designed to be tucked next to me. He stares at me while I’m on my computer. Eating. Getting dressed. Going to the bathroom. Showering. Cooking. Brushing my teeth. Clipping coupons. Putting my coat on. He is always there. And honestly, when he’s not, it’s really weird.
He gives me sad eyes when I leave for work. And the funny thing is, I actually feel guilty leaving. The poor guy has to lay on his cushy bed all day in peace and quiet and take a nap. He even helps himself to my couch, even though it’s forbidden. (I swear he has learned to avoid it at times I may return home). And he only gets about a third of his body weight in treats each month. He’s 90 pounds.
Anyone who has a dog understands. I have absolutely fallen in love, and the paw print on my heart so deep, it’s hard to imagine my life without him.
Shootin’ the Wit is a sporadic blog about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.