Posted by finelinebob on May 8, 2004, at 0:03:39
In reply to insanity all over a dog, posted by smokeymadison on May 7, 2004, at 22:35:05
Why did you feel that way when you had the dog?
Dogs do that to people. They need us. They look up to us. They're not independent like cats or snakes (sorry cat people, but the comparison was too tempting! ). But they also take you under their protection and care. You're one of the pack. They demand a lot, but they give back even more.
Puppies are even more demanding. They do everything they can to make you mad but they do it so innocently. It's so infurriating! I mean, infuriating! ACK!
Worst of all -- they love unconditionally.
Can you accept that? If a dog steals your heart, it is so damn hard living up to the standard they set. You have to be responsible. You have to be attentive. You have to be stern and forceful, but loving. And if you haven't taken care of a dog as an adult before, there is no way you can prepare yourself for just how demanding that can be.
It's hard enough when all you have to worry about is the dog. You've got a boyfriend and bills and cats and living in an apartment ... and you have yourself to deal with, as well. Once you see just how much care a puppy needs, it can come down like a 16 ton weight.
So, I don't think your feelings were out-of-line or unreasonable. Did you get blind-sided by all the responsibility you had all of a sudden? That can be very intimidating if no one prepared you for it.
Or, since you miss him a lot now, was it your feelings for the pup coming on so fast? When I decided to adopt from the ASPCA, I was told by a friend that you don't choose the dog, the dog chooses you. And that, for me, was just what happened. Every dog in the shelter wanted to go home with me, but there was this one shepherd/husky mix that picked me out. I wanted a lab, but Pokie trapped me with one big puppy-eyed look. I supposedly had a choice -- I could walk away free or I could take Pokie home, but she had already made up my mind for me.
The responsibility of care is intimidating, but nowhere near as intimidating as realizing you've lost your heart to a six month-old that isn't even a member of your species. So, I can't tell you which is worse -- living up to the responsibility or to the love. But I hope that now, since you've had a taste of it and maybe know what you'll be facing, you decide you're up to it again someday.
ps. right now, I have a German Shepherd named Leyna. She's had the misfortune of living through 2.5 of the worst years of my life. But I can't begin to imagine how much worse that time would have been for me if it wasn't for what Leyna brings to my life. Imagine having a friend who, through her friendship, makes **you** a better person. That's a ridiculous thing to ask or expect from a person, but it comes so naturally to dogs. Believing that you deserve such a friend is hard, but it makes anything else possible, any problem surmountable.
Sorry for the soliloquy ... but you just HAD to go and post something about dogs, didn't you smokey? =^)