Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why I've traded men for canines.

I got back home from my friend Michey's house at around 3AM. I haven't been home for about 2 months, and I have the week off for springbreak.

I let myself inside and turned off the alarm. Everyone else was asleep but him. I heard his footsteps before I spotted him at the top of the steps. He was staring at me with wide eyes and his jaw dropped, as if he couldn't believe that it was really me. I called for him to come downstairs and greet me and he came down halfway before stopping again. The excitement of my presence seemed to be literally making him dizzy. So I started up the stairs and we met halfway. I was greeted with grunts of delight, wet kisses, and a wagging tail. I hugged him as hard as I could without injuring him and we trotted into the kitchen together to get a midnight snack and catch up on things. I asked him how he's been and told him what I've been up to while sharing a bowl of popcorn with him. After I brought my bags upstairs I changed into my pajamas and the two of us got into bed and spooned for the rest of the night. I hugged him tightly against me and buried my nose against the back of his head, taking in his scent of musky outdoors and rain combined with smoke and oddly enough, air freshener. I couldn't help but think, this is what a loving relationship is all about.

Obviously, I'm talking about my dog; a Cairn Terrier named Michaelangelo (Mickey for short). That kind of excited, 'HOLY FUCK I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE IT'S REALLY YOU' is the kind of greeting that I have never recieved from another human being. Not to say that my family and friends don't love me, but it's one thing to vocalize missing someone and giving hugs, but it's quite another to give an animated performance and essentially do a ritualized dance with excitement. This is one of the reasons why I've realized that no one will ever love you like your dog.

I don't say this to be harsh, or depressing. I'm simply being realistic. Think about it. Who else will cuddle with you in the middle of the day (or night, if you're an insomniac like me) no matter how horrible you look from lack of a shower or make-up, or how bad you smell. Who else will love you completely unconditionally no matter what? Who will follow you around from room to room (even the bathroom) even when you're PMSing and feel horrible? Who will love you no matter what, despite all of your imperfections?

When I look into my dog's eyes, I don't see judgement or scrutiny. He doesn't think I should change. He loves me just the way I am. Guys will break your heart. They will make you doubt yourself, and later maybe they'll leave. They'll make you feel bad about yourself and then ask for your forgiveness. They'll say that they don't mind your farting in bed, or the fact that sometimes you like to listen to the A*Teens, but you know that deep down, they're a little freaked out. They'll demand to know why you've been out so long, and silently suspect you of dishonesty. They'l accidentally insult your mother to her face. And they'll burn your toast.

But a dog will never look down upon you, or judge you for the things you like, and what your ambitions are. They'll will always forgive you for your faults, like being away from home and not visiting him for over 2 months. They'll make you feel beautiful and loved like no one else can. They will remain loyal to you no matter what. A dog is completely incapable of ill will towards another being. They want only to love and be loved in return. And my dog can sense when I'm in a bad mood. If I'm unhappy, he is clearly unsettled. His ears will go down and he'll sulk in the corner, mirroring my actions. We're totally in sync to each other's moods. We know how to read one another.

And for the record, when my mom calls me at school to tell me that my dog has peed on the corner of my bed again, it actually warms my heart. I know that in his own way, it means that he loves me and misses me, and he'll be damned if anyone else is going to come into my room and try to claim ownership of my heart.

I haven't found the 'one' perfect guy. And maybe I never will. And who knows if that's necessarily a bad thing? Guys come with baggage. Relationships end, and they end badly. The bond between human and animal is unbreakable. So while I haven't found the man of my dreams, I have my dog, and that's enough for me. Hell, if I could marry my dog, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Call it crazy; call it deeply disturbing. I call it unrequited love :).

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