loneliness

my girl in the kitchen, and the look…
coming home from the kennel back in the day when we had a car…big smile 🙂
 my girl the last time we were at the beach (tilt ya head)

my roommate told me the other day that when i’m gone, my dog is terribly depressed. she won’t get off the couch, just looks forlorn, and will growl under her breath at him when he tries to pet her.

have you ever had someone so dependent on you?  she acts very independent around me, of course, sometimes trying to slip away while i’m in the garden and take herself on her own walk around the neighborhood, making fast friends with all of my friends who happen to have four wheels (riding in cars, like most dogs, is like crack to her…), and eating her fair share of grass and cat poo (aka, kitty roca) and anything really she can find on the kitchen floor.  so to hear this made my heart melt into a big gooey mess.

this thanksgiving will mark 7 years since we brought her home for a ‘test drive’ (the shelter in santa barbara let us take her for thanksgiving weekend) and fell madly in love.  i remember bringing her into the apartment and catching her trying to pee in the living room and she literally stopped in midstream when i said ‘hey!’, came outside and never did it again. ah yes, that would be the dog for me.  shortly thereafter i told my then-husband that we would be looking for a house because this dog was ours.  we found a little white stucco house near the mesa, 5 minutes from the beach, with an enclosed yard and a rottweiler currently residing there.  fate!  (you know how hard it is to find a rental for a rottie?)

life was never the same with my girl. she saw me through the trials of a difficult divorce, she walked with me down paths through the butterfly preserve and learned to play with other dogs as soon as she saw that i was happier and more peaceful without the addict in my life, she rode with me in the car to help me rediscover my hometown, slept next to me in the attic until we could find our own house, chased squirrels up trees and cooled her belly in mudpuddles after a great run with the other pups.  we went to rockaway and short sands beaches and i saw her smile.  she is great friends with her pal roxy down the street and loves to give little julian a sloppy lick on the face (as any mama dog would do) when she sees him in his stroller.  she loves to be near me and my friends, and calls me out when i come home smelling like another pup. when she tore out her entire ACL playing in the park and had to have a steel bar put in her leg, she was a trooper. she looked at me as i tried to help her, with that, hell no i’m not taking the ramp, i’m taking the stairs, look in her eye.  she was going to look after me even when she was in excruciating pain.

i worry for her.  in a few days i head out on holiday and while i know she’s in good hands with people who adore her, i still worry.  she’s closing in on 13 (i made valentines her birthday because she’s part of my heart), lots of gray hairs, tough time walking, and much more needy than she used to be.  my girl has to be close by when i’m around now.  and it breaks my heart all at the same time to know that i don’t have much time with her.  every day i give her extra loves and hugs and snuggles and tell her thank you for being my dog and how much i love her.  she’s my baby girl and owns such a big piece of my heart.

so on this thanksgiving, i want to say i am thankful for how love can change your world.  my dog has made me a better person.  this dog was on death row when i met her.  hard to believe isn’t it?

my girl, snoring with her eyes open, across from me as i write this
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  One thought on “loneliness

  1. November 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I so totally understand this reluctance to leave your dog. We have a standard poodle named Bodhi and he is so attached to my husband. So much so, that when he walks outside Bodhi runs from window to window just looking for him. They bonded last year when we got him when I was sick and could not be around people or animals for 4 days during radioactive iodine treatments. I know that he loves me too; just not as much as he does my husband. This attachment makes it hard for us to want to leave him either alone for the day or with other people when we go away. So, we end up not leaving much unless we can take Bodhi with us. After all: what was the point in getting a dog if we just wanted to shuffle him off all the time? Occasionally, yes. But like you, love of our animals is so important.

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  2. November 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    i know how you feel about leaving her. I am going to be without my Spike for a whole month!! i dont know HOW im going to come out of it ALIVE. I cant keep him with my friends since their place has a no pets law and so i have to put him in a kennel… i dont know how this is goign to work for a whole month 😦

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