“And they called it puppy love…”
“Dogs are so much responsibility.” ” Are you sure you want that commitment?” “You are nuts, dogs are a lot of work.” “You are crazy, you have freedom now.”
Those are the things that get said when someone decides they want a dog. Well, at least they were said to me by different people as I discussed getting a puppy. There was one person, not really a close friend any longer but someone I was sharing this with, who must have said “they are so much responsibility” so many times I started to question myself. Can I handle all this responsibility with everything else on my plate? I am alone, can I do this without a lot of help? Maybe he is right and I can’t take on this kind of responsibility. Then I realized that was his issue. He doesn’t like to have that kind of responsibility, someone to depend on you for everything, someone who needs you not just in the brawn and physical way but emotionally. Looking for and wanting unconditional love, and giving it back. This was actually indicative of him, not really giving of himself emotionally, sees everything as something to do and too much of it drains him, so of course a puppy looks like only responsibility. He isn’t the only person who harped on the responsibility, but he is the one that did so the most, and therefore I questioned my decision over and over again. Just like he has made me question myself in other aspects. That realization helped me to recognize that his reaction is about him and not me.
Too often I heard the negative aspects of puppy ownership, the positives were not always mentioned. The love was not mentioned. The companionship was not mentioned. The fun was never mentioned. Then again, so many people in my life have too much on their plate to even think about a puppy, which is understandable. So many people in my life have companionship, whether it be their kids or partner, that they don’t see the loneliness that I suffer. Many don’t see me as lonely, but I am. Lonelier than I ever thought I would be.
A puppy and ultimately a dog represents a lot for me. I have so much love to give and no one in particular to give it to. My family all have their own families that they give and get love from, I’m on the fringes of all of that but still don’t have that one “person” to shower with unconditional love. Don’t get me wrong, my family loves me and I love them, but I don’t have “my” family. I don’t have those or that individual who relies squarely on me for love, understanding, companionship, etc.
This is what a puppy represented for me. Someone to shower with my love. Someone who relied on me. Someone who would comfort me when I need it, run with me when I want it and be by my side. My best friend. A dog represents my ability to completely open my heart and love unconditionally, even when they poop on the carpet!
So in comes Charlie. Charlie is a 10 week old Golden Retriever who has already stolen my heart and pooped and peed on the carpet! Charlie is smart, he already knows his name after only 5 days together. He knows he can count on me to feed him and play with him, take outside and run with him. He needs me completely. I need to be needed. He loves me unconditionally. I need to be loved. He is filling that empty spot in my heart that has been hurting and open for so long.
Yes, puppies are a lot of work and responsibility. I have slept less in the last week than I have in months. I’m up a few times a night taking him outside. I have more food, toys and puppy stuff around my house than I ever have, making it far from the clean house I enjoy. Of course, Lucy isn’t happy so that is an entirely other piece of this family puzzle. She now eats and uses a litter box upstairs as she doesn’t like him yet. Fortunately, she isn’t taking it out on me, I still get my Lucy love, and she hasn’t gone after him, other than a hiss here and there. She watches him from afar. With all of that upheaval, I am in total love. Charlie’s love is already filling an emptiness in my heart and soul. He loves to be in the room I am in, very often laying by my feet. He gives kisses freely and loves to play.
Yes they do call it puppy love, and I am totally in love with my pup! Yes it is responsibility, and I am enjoying feeling needed. I used to wonder if the reason I wasn’t blessed with children was because I wasn’t mom material, that I couldn’t handle that responsibility, or I was selfish and didn’t want that responsibility. This is proving all of that wrong.
I have so much love to give, and this pup is getting it….