July 21, 2014

Puppy Love

{Photos by Zach; wearing Zara shorts via Bayshore, Alex & Ani bracelets}

"I can't do this anymore. My pet days are over." I remember saying when Turbo passed away.

Flash forward to a year later, I got a puppy and now I seem to be with child. There are obvious differences such as I won't ever have to pay for my child's tuition fee or throw them birthday parties. But similar with the responsibilities of motherhood, I reward him for good behavior and scold him for bad behavior, I now get up around 6am each day to take him out to pee- or else if his bladder is too full and he gets excited he will accidentally pee on the floor. Like a toddler, I have to constantly watch what he is eating off the ground and make him spit it out when I catch him. Like a teenager, I have to make sure he gets enough stimulation and exercise that he doesn't get bored and destroy the house when I am at work.

Last week my electronic bark collar came in the mail. I bought it in hopes to train him not to bark at night. Before activists refer me as Kim Jong-un and comparing my dog's situation to living in North Korea, I want you to know that I put the collar myself and tested it first to see if it would be safe for my dog- If that's not love, I don't know what is.

In exchange of me taking care of him, my dog follows me everywhere. He follows me to do laundry in my basement, watches me fold clothes, sleeps right outside my bedroom floor instead of on his expensive dog bed I bought him, and accompanies me on aimless drives in which he'd stick his small, furry head out the window and stick his tongue out like he's at a 80's rock concert, "Geeze, we're only going to the bank" I would say to my dog. But he doesn't care where he goes, as long as he's with me.

The attention of owning a puppy is also addictive. When kids ask to pet my dog and comment on his looks, I have a pride of accomplishment as if I am somehow responsible for his size and stature. I take the compliment as if I'd personally designed him to look and act the way he is.

Admittedly I visited this dog a couple of times and swayed back and forth on the decision before adopting him. I wasn't sure if I am ready to handle a 10+ year commitment. "Gosh, that's longer than most modern marriages" I told my dad over the phone. It's not just the length of the commitment, it's also a commitment to take care of a living thing whose quality of life is completely dependent on you.

But comes the responsibility also comes the reward. Dogs wear their heart on their sleeve and they aren't afraid to show how much they love you. Their tails wag and they pant with joy whenever you return, regardless to being absent for 2 hours or 2 days. It's the unconditional love that they don't care how much money you have, how you look or what you can do for them- They love you anyway. I think I finally understand how a dog can be your best friend.