I do not have a child and the only thing I can compare to that kind of love… is the love I have for my Australian Shepherd, Daisy. Mothers and fathers of the world, I am sure you are scoffing at my comment. Yesterday I blew $175 at the Vet for a series of tests to see what was creating discharge in her eyes. I haven’t bought proper clothes for myself in months (turns out she has allergies). You know where I’m coming from, see? Probably not. How about the fact that I saved this as a draft and took her for a short walk. I cleaned up after her with a doggy bag and, of course, some got on my hand. I continued to walk with my right hand on high-alert and off to the side, because, well, Aussies need their exercise. Been there? I can just see your eyebrows furrowing in disgust at the comparison of my fur-baby to your precious human-baby.
You’re thinking I am obsessed, and you are right. I even started an Instagram for her back when she was a puppy. My phone ran out of space so I just started saving her pictures on her own account – @daisytheaussiedog. It was kind of embarrassing, having that many pictures of a puppy, until her followers exploded and I realized… almost everyone else has an account, a blog, a twitter, or some other outlet for images of their dog, too.
She’s more than just pictures, though. She’s provided the learning experience of taking care of something real, a life and a companion. I’ve learned to clean up the messes I don’t want to, what sick looks like and how she tries to communicate without words – with a ball in her mouth. She is my hiking partner, my road trip co-pilot and the mastermind behind just getting outside and taking a walk after a long day. I am protected with her out in the woods, as she runs 20 feet ahead of me and waits for me to catch up. The noise of us together, comprised of my bantering and her running off-trail to try for a chipmunk is something laughable. But when we’re quiet, it’s something out of this world. I have discovered things that I would have never without her. Explored new trails I would have never seen. Been |this| close to a buck.
With her, I’m happy. And for the love of Dog, I’ll remain loyal to the animal that’s kept me sane.