Oh My Dog

There’s no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams

I was texting with my friend, Eric, the other night about a dinner party I had that was fun but difficult because I couldn’t listen very well. Listening well, serving food and minding two young kids is hard, or maybe nearly impossible. Eric’s reply was, “I can’t imagine trying to have a conversation with John while trying to make dinner, hold a baby and answer the many questions of a six-year-old. The only way to make it easier would be to get a puppy.”

Eric doesn’t think I should get a puppy and he frequently uses humor to tell me so. And I don’t disagree with a single reason he’s given me. Yep, it’s a lot of work. Definitely true that it’ll disrupt my sleep. And sure, I already have a lot on my hands given that I’m a single-mom of two kids trying to work, parent and live some semblance of an individual life. All true!

But here’s the thing. I don’t think life is supposed to be easy. I’m surprised he hasn’t figured this out about me since we’ve been friends through all my parenthood. I mean after I had the first kid it might not have been obvious how much work it took to sustain young life but when I chose to do it again, I think that might have been a clue that I’m willing to go all in the game for love.

I’m going to get a puppy because I love dogs. But I’m also going to get a puppy because I think for families that want them, they are an incredible companion. All your secrets are safe with a dog. Also, once you’ve established the bond, there is no end to the unconditional love of a dog. And finally, to be in charge of an animal, you have to first learn to be in charge of yourself. In the years of growing up that we have to come, I think a pet will be a great source of comfort and joy. Because yes, I just want to be the person that my dog thinks I am and I want my kids to be that person as well.

What’s so funny about this is that Eric was texting me about the party because he couldn’t come because he was home with HIS DOG! A little surgery and the meds had thrown his dog’s system off and Eric didn’t think the dog could come or be left alone. Ha!

But I’m going to wait about six months until my toddler is potty-trained because dealing with poop from more than one household member at a time seems crazy. I’m committed but not insane!

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