Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Letter to my Dog

Dearest Lola Rae,

Did you know that I love you a lot?  Like a lot, a lot? You probably do, because I tell you a lot. Like a lot, a lot.  Did you know that I was once afraid of dogs?  Even the really cute, nice ones?  Did you know that I didn't trust any dog? If you really understood all that I tell you, then you already know this too.  

Of course I wish you could talk back to me and tell me that you love me too, but the cool thing about your kind is, you don't need a human voice in order to tell me.  You let me know this quite frequently throughout each day.  When you rest your wet nose on my side of the bed in the morning, when you rest your head on my lap when I'm going pee, when you wake up from a short nap at work, and look up at me to make sure I'm still here, and when you wag your tail when I walk into the room; you tell me you love me. And I need all those. 

Funny thing is, that before you, I thought my life was pretty bursting with love.  I got kisses from your dad every day and lots of hugs from my parents and my friends.  I didn't think I needed a pet, and in fact, didn't really want one.  I thought pets were a bigger responsibility than I wanted.  Picking up poop, buying large bags of  food, dealing with chewed coffee table legs and ruined high heels, and leaving them behind when we wanted to travel.  

Then came that day when you were born.  God opened my heart up and let me know it needed filled.  About that time we started talking about what kind of dog we wanted, what age we wanted, where we would look for you.  We knew we wanted a border collie or shepherd of some mix.  We knew we wanted to adopt and were ok if you were not a puppy.  We didn't know about YOU yet, but God did.  He led you to us.  He protected you on your journey to the shelter and took that older couple out to lunch so we could step in and have first dibs on you. 

When we brought you home, I was excited, but treated you more like a dog than a child.  I found myself saying, "oh, she's just a dog, she'll be fine" instead of worrying that you'd jump out of a moving truck.  I wasn't worried about you meeting other dogs and getting into a fight.  I wasn't worried when you stayed outside for more than 30 minutes.  Because "you're just a dog".  

But remember when that all changed?  Remember when Dad told Mom she wasn't bonding with you? Remember when we started hugging and kissing and snuggling? Thats when I learned you really liked hugging, kissing and snuggling.  You even liked it when I carried you around like a toddler.  That's when I learned you were more than "just a dog".  You were my child. You were mine.  And Daddy's of course ;) But you were mine to protect.  You were mine to keep safe, healthy and happy.  And that meant you got to ride inside the truck, and you stayed close to me when you met other dogs.  You started eating the expensive grain-free, Sweet Potato and Turkey dog food. And you started wearing a collar with a cute flower on it. And sometimes you got to sleep on the bed with us.  

Ya know when I look at you and just smile?  Its because you're being cute.  Its because your legs are spread eagle and you're snoring.  Its because you're sleeping at my feet with one paw on my foot.  Its because you're so stinkin cute that I cannot help but take your picture of you doing absolutely nothing.

I still understand when I hear or see people treating their dogs "like dogs", but I bet they haven't bonded with their dog and don't understand yet that even though you sniff butts, lick privates, eat gross things you find on the ground and sleep most of the day, that you are full of love and can't wait for the opportunity to show and give it out.  I guess that means you're "one lucky dog".  You've found a family.  A family that loves to love. 

We might be adding to this family soon, but no matter what happens Lola, you will be my girl.  You will continue coming to work with me every day.  You will always be allowed to lick my face. You won't be forced to stay outside (even though I know you don't think of it as a punishment).  You will always be the one soul that was sent down to teach me about my fears, my trusts, my loves.  You will always be the one that saved me when I didn't even know I needed saved. 



We love our'chuther.

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