Valentine’s Day arrives each year, bombarding us with pressure to either show love, or feel we need to be shown love. At least, that is how many of us see it. If you are not going out to a fancy restaurant tonight, or not expecting something large and heart shaped being given to you, have no fear. I have a solution. Just have a dog or cat in your life. Your future happiness will be set from the moment you have adopted this loving furrball. Can a box of chocolates, or even a diamond ring, keep you warm at night? Can it listen intently to all your conversations, always take your side in an argument, silently nodding approval at your outfit, dinner,…? No, it cannot. But a dog or cat can, and will, unconditionally do all that and more for you.
Here she is. My rock, my forever mate. Yoga fans, does this face not scream Namaste: I salute the divine in you? Jerry Maguire fans, is she or is she not saying, with her eyes, “You had me at hello”? I believe her expression says all that and more. Much more.
Do I seem a bit unglued to you, professing adoration for my dog? Maybe a bit. But let me share with you a little background.
I am married, and happily so. I am not here to malign the institution, nor my husband, with whom I shared a lovely afternoon and evening yesterday, in fact. It was not fancy, but it was exactly what I needed, and I thank the heavens every day for finding him. Meeting him led to our 3 beautiful, fabulous children that we center our lives around. But here is where the story gets interesting, and relevant. Parents out there, I know you will appreciate this.
This is a letter I received from my son. Note the date. Mother’s Day, 2013, will likely be the last day that I receive a letter as profoundly sweet and innocent as this. I saved it, and am glad that I did. I am not suggesting that my children will never appreciate me nor profess love for me again. I am sure, though, that their expression of love will change. That may not be a bad thing, but with 3 teenagers, I have experienced what comes with hormones and maturing children, and it is not always pretty. Which brings me to my dog.
Here she is doing the only trick she knows. In fact, it is not a trick at all. She has been doing this since day 1. She is desperately trying to figure out what it is I want, or what she can do to get one of two things. One, she wants to be pet, on her belly preferably. The other, is:
to get a treat. She is never far from the cookie jar. She is spoiled. She is poorly trained. I am to blame for all, if not most of this. Yet, she doesn’t care that arguably all of her friend and neighbor dogs, and cats, can do fancy tricks. They smoke fake pipes, and flip bones in midair off their noses, artfully catching them. They know the joy of applause and being the halftime entertainment portion of a dinner party. She does not. She can sit, and then lay down. I say “Bang”, or “Play dead India”, etc, knowing she will assume the one and only position seen above, which I really didn’t even teach her. But, it won’t matter to her that she is not a You Tube sensation. She will love me just the same. And I will do the same for her. I don’t need her to do tricks. I just need her to continue staring at me adoringly
from wherever she is in the house. I am good with that.