An Apology to My Dog

In another life I would be writing this to my daughter.

But in this life, I have you. My baby girl. My co-pilot. My Buttface.

You don’t care if I’m wearing make-up or if I’ve been crying all day. You don’t care if I made plans with you and something came up so I had to reschedule. You don’t care if I showed up at home with Starbucks for me & nothing for you. You just don’t care.

You love me in spite of everything.

You even love me when I sleep in and am sick and don’t take you out to go potty until 3pm.

Or the time I accidentally forgot to bring you home from work and had to come back and get you.

You just love me.

Often times I find myself sitting face to muzzle with my Butters telling her how sorry I am.

How sorry that people come in and out of her life and how I struggle to find consistency for her.

How I make poor choices and she watches the consequences as they unfold.

How we move from place to place, just when she’s starting to get comfortable.

How no matter what happens. At least we’ve got each other.

I firmly believe that a dog forces you to be responsible & stable.

A cat doesn’t require the same level of commitment as a dog, sorry Todd – you know it’s true. (btw – Todd is my cat).

Taking my dog to work every day, taking her on walks, picking up her poo, getting her new toys, treats, and training her. It all requires commitment, consistency, and stability.

I will be the first one to tell you – when the boat is rocked at home, she is once sensitive little girl and will regress back into her carpet piddling, flip-flop chewing ways.

That’s usually my cue that I need to calm the eff down and spend some time with her to reassure her everything is going to be okay.

It was a hot seattle summer, 2013. I was working the front desk at a local veterinary hospital when in walked a client with her new fluffy golden-retriever-looking puppy. I immediately melted.

Out came 20 questions. When/Where/How.

After my interrogation I came to find out that little muffin was one of TWELVE puppies in a box, in South Park (just 15min away!), and they were FREE.

I couldn’t stop myself. I had to have one.

So I clocked out for the night, picked up my boyfriend (at the time), and we drove to South Park. I grabbed the fluffiest one and said, “pleeeeeeeeeease?” How could he say no? She was adorable.

The ride home was a different story.

Every doubt and insecurity I had about owning/raising a puppy suddenly came to the forefront of my mind. There was no way I could do this. This was a huge mistake. I’m never home, I work all the time, how am I going to make this work?

I dropped my boyfriend off at home and returned to the veterinary clinic I was working at. I bathed her, applied a dose of flea control, de-wormed her, and gave her the first of several rounds of vaccines.

From there we went to the pet store, where you would get your first piece of jewelry.

Your name tag.

“Butters”

It was perfect. The ONLY thing I didn’t second guess while you were growing up.

Then came the hard part. Crate training. I tried. I tried so hard. But my boyfriend was so angry because you would cry and cry and cry. So soon, you became my cuddle buddy. Only to wake up when my alarm went off… and then you would go pee in the kitchen.

Damnit.

I seriously almost re-homed you.

It was so stressful teaching you to go potty OUTSIDE. I tried so hard. Taking you to the same spot. Not letting you inside until after you peed. Even buying a block of cheese JUST for you as treats whenever you were a good girl and went potty outside.

Good lord did you love my flip-flops.

Every damn pair.

It didn’t end there, either. When we moved in with Lindsey you chewed up her loafers. Then mine. You were such an anxious chewer. What had I done?

Separation anxiety is REAL.

I took you to work everyday. When you were a little pup, you would sleep on top of the desk in front of the charts. The clients adored you. When you got older, you slept under the desk. And when I started working in our treatment area, you were kenneled in the top kennel, like the queen you are-overseeing your minions.

You soon acquired a little buddy in the form of a feline named, Todd. You were such a good big sister. He drove you insane and you loved every minute of it. You’re both absolutely nuts.

I started pet sitting and had lots of other dogs in and out of your life. You only connected with a few though. You loved your big brother, Reese – your BFF, Gypsy – your little sister, Bea Bea (before Lindsey re-homed her) – and your walking buddy, Piper.

You definitely have your opinions about who you like and who you don’t like.

You always protect your mama.

Which is why I am so sorry. I am so sorry I keep apologizing to you. I feel so often that your life is just as boring as mine. That you need more stimulation, that I can’t give you the consistency that you need. That maybe I’m being selfish keeping you and you would be happier in another home.

But then I realize, you’re family. We got lucky because we got to choose our family. Well, I chose you. You’re my favorite. You’re my best friend. You’re my girl.

One day we will have the best life. You will be able to go outside whenever you want. You will have all the friends a girl could ask for. You will hit the beauty parlor every 6 weeks to get your hair done. You will be buried in toys and treats.

One day.

Until then, thanks for sticking it out with me, girl. You’re the best.

 

Until next time,

xo-Jack

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