Most of my photos on any social network site involve him. People could say it’s because I’m bored and don’t have much going on in my life in terms of excitement, hobbies, and good lovin’; and they’d be correct. But the other side to that coin is that I also really love my dog.
When I’m at home with nothing to do, I’m typically paying attention to him. Of course, he demands this of me, even when I have plenty to do, but that’s all right. I like it.
It’s almost like he’s my kid.
OH PLEASE! HAVING AND LOVING A DOG IS NOTHING LIKE HAVING AND LOVING A KID!
Well, hang on just a second there, Overzealous Imaginary Kid-Having Person In My Head Who Has The Caps Lock Glued Down. I’m not saying the two are one and the same, but up to this point in my life, he is the closest thing I know of what it’s like having a kid. And while I know I’m not ready for kids just yet, and don’t plan on having any for a long time (if ever), I love him like he’s my own child. Quite frankly, it excites me that I can love anything like I love him, considering my lack of ability to give any semblance of adequate love to many people at different times in my life. It gives me great hope to know that I can love him in that way, and reminds me that if I’m ever an actual dad, I’ll probably be a damn good one.
But my love for Deuce is more nuanced than that. You see, I got him during a very difficult time in my life. Months prior, I had just attempted suicide, and two weeks after having rescued him, I will have fled Indiana in search of brighter skies and possibilities in Arizona. Needless to say, he’s been one of my main constants during a very dark and life-changing period. During my first few months in Phoenix, I was a wreck.
Directionless. Friendless. And a whole bunch of other “lesses”.
None of that mattered to Deuce. It didn’t matter one bit to him that I was a self-pitying idiot who couldn’t get out of bed before 11:30. He stayed right there with me. It didn’t bother him that I watched way too much TV than a human should, without any desire to go anywhere and see anyone. He was cool with chilling on the couch and watching Deadliest Catch and Mythbusters on repeat.
In the year and a half since I got him, I’ve experienced numerous changes.
Five different jobs. Three different housing situations. And more. Basically, a metric ton of things that dogs hate. They thrive in consistency, and my life has been anything but since he graciously became a part of it. I have been far from the best friend he’s been to me. I’ve raised my hand in anger and extreme frustration. I’ve forgotten to feed him. I’ve neglected entertaining him in favor of entertaining myself.
Basically, I’m kind of a shitty owner, at times.
Yet, he’s still there every morning with anxiousness to play, and every evening with excitement to see me when I come home. He’s intuitive to my emotional fluctuations; giving me the sort of selfless love that I wish I was more consistent at giving to him and to other people. No matter how many times I’ve been terrible towards him, he’s always by my side. Sometimes too much, but I won’t complain about that. Perhaps you think I might be reading too much into his proclivities. After all, he is JUST a dog, right?
No. He’s my dog. And quite frankly, I’ll Instagram the shit out of him and you’ll just have to learn to like it.
Get a dog, folks. Trust me: you learn a lot about yourself. How selfish you are. How incapable of being consistent you can be.
And then, if you’re as lucky as I have been, you’ll learn how capable of fixing all those things you are.