Love does not come without responsibilities nor does it leave you without some consequences or restrictions. For example, I love my dog no matter what and that is the steady love, real love. But in the solid world, he has to be groomed whether I do it myself or I take him to someone. He needs food and water and trust me, finding dog food that agrees with his stomach and one that he likes is another matter. Just ask the pet store how many of their products I have tried and just ask my bedroom carpet where it got all those spots. He considers my bedroom as his own private barf disposal spot.
Then there’s the “take-me-for-a-walk” look that he burns into me. Now, I need the walk as much as he does and frankly I miss it when we can’t do it for some reason; but, in a thunder storm or 94 degrees with the sun still packing the punch of a fire ball from hell, I try to explain to him we can’t do it right this minute. Then I have to explain to myself why I am talking to the dog.
Then there is the anxiety he starts winding up when he sees me touching a travel bag of any size or type even if I am just moving things around in the house. Oh, and let me just start to clean my closets out or rearrange things and he freaks. Why? Because he thinks it means Pet Mom is going to go away for a while. Now, try to explain to him that even if I am packing for a trip on which he cannot go, he gets to stay with his second Mom and GrandMom whom he adores so he need not freak out. When I pack his bag he really gets excited; so, trust me, I do that at the very last minute before we go or his second mom comes to get him.
I wonder if all dogs have ADD? He can be sniffing the grass and finding just the right spot to do his business and suddenly he hears a neighbor close a garage door or leave their driveway in their car or the breeze comes his way bringing a wave of heaven knows how many smells to his dog nose and he totally forgets what he was doing. So then I have to remind him yet again, to go potty. Then we start the process all over again. I don’t groan out loud but it’s hard not to. But then I worry that the neighbors might think I am either in pain or having some kind of pleasure for them to talk about. Oh good heavens!
Then there is the come-on-Mom-let’s-play some more look or the I-want-in-your-lap look when I have just gotten up, seen to all his needs. All I want is time for my coffee and time to write. Those are my most haves. So I end up throwing a toy or ball for him to get (which he forgets to bring back and then I have nothing to throw). It takes a few minutes to get that message across that I need the toy back if he wants me to throw it. Then, after a few more throws, I I take one more sip of coffee and ignore further sad eyes upon me. I do have some boundaries you know. It took me a life time to understand boundaries and when and how to use them. I am a slow learner and Ollie is my teacher.
Ah, but the companionship, the laughter when he does something funny or cute, the way he adores me and appreciates my presence and love makes it all worthwhile. At night he curls his little body up against mine as we sleep and I feel well-protected and loved. I may have to pour out some money, time, effort and energy because I have this little fur ball and the responsibilities that comes with him but you can’t put a price tag on love.